By Daniel Chokoe
Current World player of the year Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Franck Ribery are among the favourites for the 2013 Ballon d’Or, with the 23-man shortlist for the award released by Fifa on Monday.
Africa’s sole representative Yaya Toure, Neymar, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Gareth Bale, Robin van Persie and Radamel Falcao are also among the nominees, while there are notably six players from Bayern Munich in contention.
Barcelona’s Messi, Real Madrid’s Ronaldo and Bayern’s Ribery, however, are widely regarded as the main contenders for the top individual prize in world football.
My view is that Ribery is more deserving of the award than any of the 23-man however it will be hard for him to shield off competition from favourites Lionel Messi. Looking at the past season Ribery guided a clinical Bayern side to a treble thus making him a deserving winner of the Ballon d’Or award.
Franck Ribery Bayern Munich France
Arjen Robben Bayern Munich Netherlands
Thomas Muller Bayern Munich Germany
Manuel Neuer Bayern Munich Germany
Philipp Lahm Bayern Munich Germany
Bastian Schweinsteiger Bayern Munich Germany
Lionel Messi Barcelona Argentina
Andres Iniesta Barcelona Spain
Xavi Barcelona Spain
Neymar Barcelona Brazil
Zlatan Ibrahimovic Paris Saint-Germain Sweden
Edinson Cavani Paris Saint-Germain Uruguay
Thiago Silva Paris Saint-Germain Brazil
Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid Portugal
Gareth Bale Real Madrid Wales
Mesut Ozil Arsenal Germany
Robin van Persie Manchester United Netherlands
Yaya Toure Manchester City Cote d’Ivoire
Luis Suarez Liverpool Uruguay
Andrea Pirlo Juventus Italy
Radamel Falcao Monaco Colombia
Eden Hazard Chelsea Belgium
Robert Lewandowski Borussia Dortmund Poland
Do you agree with the nominations, who do you think has been unfortunately excluded?