Barcelona’s striker Luis Suárez is a notable omission from this year’s 23-man list of contenders for the FIFA Ballon d’Or award.
The list was compiled by the FIFA Football Committee with the help of French magazine France Football. It will be trimmed to a shortlist of three on December 1, with the winner announced at a ceremony in Zurich on January 12, 2015.
The list features 17 players from Europe, five from South America and Yaya Toure from Africa. World champions Germany are the most represented with six entries.
All of the candidates play their club football in Europe, for only eight different clubs, with Real Madrid and Bayern Munich tied for the most with six each, followed by Barcelona with four.
Two goalkeepers were named to the shortlist: Belgium’s Thibaut Courtois and Germany’s Manuel Neuer.
The list contains no English players but includes five Premier League players on it, though conspicuous by his absence is Suarez, the division’s leading scorer from last season.
The 27-year-old Uruguayan 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 – a suspension which ended when he made his Barcelona debut against Real Madrid on Saturday.