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Sports Messi, Ronaldo to compete for the 2014 Ballon d'Or award with six German players

Babalola Oluwatomiwa

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World football governing body (FIFA) have short-listed six members of the German national team that won the 2014 World Cup in the final 23-man list for the 2014 Ballon d'Or award.

The usual suspects, Barcelona' Lionel Messi and Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo as was expected made the finals cut.

The only African player on the shortlist is Ivory Coast and Manchester City midfielder, Yaya Toure.

Philipp Lahm, Mario Gotze, Toni Kroos, Thomas Muller, Manuel Neuer and Bastian Schweinsteiger are the members of the triumphant German listed by FIFA for the award.

The list will be pruned down to a last three and a winner will be announced at a Gala event in Zurich on January 12.

Ronaldo is the current Ballon d'or winner, beating Lionel Messi and Frank Ribery to the prestigious award in 2013.

Real Madrid and Bayern Munich have six nominees each, while four Barcelona and three Chelsea players are still in the running.

Furthermore, Manchester United, Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus all have one candidate each.

2014 FIFA Ballon d'Or shortlist:

Gareth Bale (Wales), Karim Benzema (France), Diego Costa (Spain), Thibaut Courtois (Belgium), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Angel Di Maria (Argentina), Mario Gotze (Germany), Eden Hazard (Belgium), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden), Andres Iniesta (Spain), Toni Kroos (Germany), Philipp Lahm (Germany), Javier Mascherano (Argentina), Lionel Messi (Argentina), Thomas Muller (Germany), Manuel Neuer (Germany), Neymar (Brazil), Paul Pogba (France), Sergio Ramos (Spain), Arjen Robben (Netherlands), James Rodriguez (Colombia), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany), Yaya Toure (Ivory Coast)

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