Suárez not on Ballon d'Or shortlist

LONDON - Barcelona’s striker Luis Suárez has been omitted from Fifa’s 23-man list of contenders for the Ballon d’Or award.

The list, which will be whittled down to the one player deemed to be the world’s best, has no Englishmen but five Premier League players on it, though there is no place for the division’s leading scorer from last season.

27-year-old Suárez scored 31 goals for Liverpool as they narrowly missed out on the English title, but his season ended in controversy after he bit Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini while playing for Uruguay at the World Cup.

He was served with a fourth-month ban by Fifa as a consequence – a suspension which ended when he made his Barcelona debut against Real Madrid on Saturday – and would surely have made the list and been a strong contender without the incident at the World Cup.

As it is, his Barcelona teammate Lionel Messi and the current Ballon D’or holder Cristiano Ronaldo are sure to battle it out once more.

Ronaldo’s stunning form in 2014 puts him down as the clear favourite – he guided Real Madrid to the Champions League title in May and has 21 goals in 14 appearances so far this season.

Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale also makes the list, with the Premier League representation made up of three players from Chelsea, one from Manchester City and one from Manchester United.

Of that quintet, though, only two were playing in the Premier League last season.

Chelsea pair Thibaut Courtois and Diego Costa were at Atlético Madrid, while Manchester United’s Ángel Di María was with Ronaldo at Real.

Eden Hazard of Chelsea and Manchester City’s Yaya Touré are also nominated.

World Cup winners Germany have six players on the list – the most from any nation.

The 23-man list will be whittled down to three on 1 December, with the winner announced in Zurich on 12 January.

Also named are the nominees for Coach of the Year, with Manchester City’s title-winning manager Manuel Pellegrini, Chelsea’s José Mourinho and Manchester United’s Louis van Gaal amongst the 10 contenders. – Press Association

Ballon d’Or shortlist

Gareth Bale (Real Madrid), Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Diego Costa (Atlético Madrid/Chelsea), Thibaut Courtois (Atlético Madrid/Chelsea), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Ángel Di María (Real Madrid/Manchester United), Mario Götze (Bayern Munich), Eden Hazard (Chelsea), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (PSG), Andrés Iniesta (Barcelona), Toni Kroos (Bayern Munich/Real Madrid), Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich), Javier Mascherano (Barcelona), Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Thomas Müller (Bayern Munich), Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Neymar (Barcelona), Paul Pogba (Juventus), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Arjen Robben (Bayern Munich), James Rodríguez (Monaco/Real Madrid), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich), Yaya Touré (Manchester City).

Coach of the year shortlist

Carlo Ancelotti (Real Madrid), Antonio Conte (Juventus/Italy national team), Pep Guardiola (Bayern Munich), Jürgen Klinsmann (USA national team), Joachim Löw (Germany national team), José Mourinho (Chelsea), Manuel Pellegrini (Manchester City), Alejandro Sabella (Argentina national team), Diego Simeone (Atlético Madrid), Louis van Gaal (Netherlands national team/Manchester United).