Ivorian midfielder and captain, Yaya Toure, has emerged the only African player listed in the 23-man shortlist for the 2014 FIFA Ballon d’Or.
Toure, who beat Nigeria’s Mikel Obi to emerge the reigning African Player of the Year, has been listed alongside big guns like Cristiano Ronaldo and four times winner Lionel Messi.
Understandably, reigning world champions Germany dominates the list having six players in the 23-man shortlist for the 2014 Ballon d’Or.
Top on the lists of Germans in the run for the coveted player’s award include their retired captain, Philip Lahm and Mario Gotze, who scored the winning goal against Argentina.
Two goalkeepers are also on the list – Manuel Neuer and Thibaut Courtois– released Tuesday morning by the organizers of the prestigious awards.
The shortlist will be pruned to three players who received the most votes from national team coaches and captains, as well as international media representatives chosen by French magazine France Football.
Later, FIFA’s award Gala for the best player in a calendar year will be announced in Zurich on January 12.
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).