Belfast Telegraph

Ten Premier League stars nominated for new FIFA award

Ten Premier League players have been shortlisted for male player of the year at FIFA's inaugural 'The Best' awards.

The new incarnation for the world player of the year comes after France Football magazine reintroduced its Ballon d'Or award, which had merged with the FIFA equivalent in 2010.

Leicester duo Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy along with now Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante have been recognised for the Foxes' fairytale title success.

Joining them are Manchester City duo Sergio Aguero and Kevin De Bruyne, Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil and Dimitri Payet of West Ham.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba, meanwhile, both moved to the Premier League in the summer after starring for Paris St Germain and Juventus respectively.

Spain's Primera Division also has 10 representatives, including Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo, Ballon d'Or holder Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar.

Two Bayern Munich players, Manuel Neuer and Robert Lewandowski, have made the list along with veteran Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon.

The shortlist was drawn up by representatives of FIFA's Football Committee and the winner will be announced at a ceremony in Zurich on January 9.

Half the votes for the award will come from managers and captains of national teams with the other 50 per cent split between an online public ballot and submissions from more than 200 media representatives around the world.

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