Real Madrid forwards Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo have been named on the list of 25 players shortlisted for the Ballon D’or.
They are joined on the list by four-time winner Lionel Messi, and a host of Bayern Munich stars, including ex-Real winger Arjen Robben. Former Los Blancos playmaker and record Arsenal signing Mezut Ozil, whose sale caused anger among some sections of the Santiago Bernabeu support, is also on the list.
Bale signed for the nine-time European Cup winners in the summer for a 91-million-euro fee. Despite such a hefty sum, the Welshman has struggled so far in the Spanish capital having been hampered by foot and thigh injuries.
Ronaldo will be one of the favourites for the award, which will be presented on January 13. He won the prize in 2008 and has been runner up on three occasions, in 2009, 2011 and 2012. Earlier this month, the Portugal star become the first player to score 50 goals in the calendar year.
Current and former Real Madrid managers are also up for the coach of the year award. Carlo Ancelotti is nominated, largely for his success at PSG last season, where he won the league. Former Los Blancos managers Jose Mourinho, Vicente del Bosque, and Jupp Heynckes are also named on the list.