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Ribery Heads Six Bayern Munich Players on FIFA Award Shortlist

Soccer Forward Lionel Messi
Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi poses with his four FIFA Ballon d'Or trophies prior to the Spanish Copa del Rey quarter-final soccer match in Barcelona on January 16, 2013. Photographer: Lluis Gene/AFP via Getty Images

Bayern Munich players dominated FIFA’s 2013 Ballon d’Or award shortlist, which included Lionel Messi as the Barcelona and Argentina forward bids to be crowned soccer’s best player for a record-extending fifth straight time.

French winger Franck Ribery, selected as the best player in Europe by regional governing body UEFA in August, was among six Bayern players on FIFA’s 23-man list published today. The club won an unprecedented sweep of Champions League, Bundesliga and German Cup titles last season.

Bayern captain Philipp Lahm and German national teammates Thomas Mueller, Manuel Neuer and Bastian Schweinsteiger also made the shortlist along with Netherlands forward Arjen Robben, whose last-minute winning goal in May’s Champions League final secured the Bavarian club’s fifth European Cup.

The list was drawn up by members of FIFA’s football committee and France Football magazine staff and the three finalists will be selected by national team captains, coaches and international media and announced in early December. The winner will be announced Jan. 13 at a ceremony in Zurich.

Jupp Heynckes, who retired after guiding Bayern to last season’s treble, was included on the 10-man list for FIFA’s men’s coach of the year award. Soccer’s governing body and France Football merged their annual accolades in 2010.

FIFA BALLON D’OR SHORTLIST: Gareth Bale (Wales), Edinson Cavani (Uruguay), Radamel Falcao (Colombia), Eden Hazard (Belgium), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden), Andres Iniesta (Spain), Philipp Lahm (Germany), Robert Lewandowski (Poland), Lionel Messi (Argentina), Thomas Mueller (Germany), Manuel Neuer (Germany), Neymar (Brazil), Mesut Ozil (Germany), Andrea Pirlo (Italy), Franck Ribery (France), Arjen Robben (Netherlands), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany), Luis Suarez (Uruguay), Thiago Silva (Brazil), Yaya Toure (Ivory Coast), Robin Van Persie (Netherlands), Xavi (Spain).

FIFA MEN’S WORLD COACH OF THE YEAR SHORTLIST: Carlo Ancelotti (Paris Saint-Germain/Real Madrid), Rafael Benitez (Chelsea/Napoli), Antonio Conte (Juventus), Vicente Del Bosque (Spain national team), Alex Ferguson (Manchester United former coach), Jupp Heynckes (Bayern Munich former coach), Juergen Klopp (Borussia Dortmund), Jose Mourinho (Real Madrid/Chelsea), Luiz Felipe Scolari (Brazil national team), Arsene Wenger (Arsenal).

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