Manchester teams scoop up five Ballon d'Or nominations

The English top flight's stars join a scintillating list featuring the likes of three-time winner Lionel Messi, Radamel Falcao, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar.
Fine players from the Premier League have been nominated for FIFA's prestigious Ballon d'or award.

The award is presented to the player who is considered to have performed better than all others in the season preceding it, and is awarded based on votes from managers and captains of international teams, as well as a number of journalists from around the world.

Three players from Premier League champion Manchester City are featured, with Sergio Aguero, Yaya Toure and Mario Balotelli all making the list.

They are joined by two players from the other side of the city, as Manchester United duo Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie are also selected.

The list of 23 features a number of the usual suspects, including three-time winner Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and in-form Chelsea target Radamel Falcao.

Ballon d'Or shortlist in full...

Sergio Aguero (ARG/Manchester City)
Mario Balotelli (ITA/Manchester City)
Karim Benzema (FRA/Real Madrid)
Gianluigi Buffon (ITA/Juventus Turin)
Sergio Busquets (ESP/FC Barcelona)
Iker Casillas (ESP/Real Madrid)
Didier Drogba (CIV/Chelsea, Shanghai Shenhua)
Radamel Falcao (COL/Atlético Madrid)
Zlatan Ibrahimovic (SWE/Milan AC, Paris-SG)
Andrés Iniesta (ESP/FC Barcelona)
Lionel Messi (ARG/FC Barcelona)
Manuel Neuer (GER/Bayern Munich)
Neymar (BRA/Santos)
Mesut Özil (GER/Real Madrid)
Gerard Piqué (ESP/FC Barcelona)
Andrea Pirlo (ITA/Juventus Turin)
Sergio Ramos (ESP/Real Madrid)
Cristiano Ronaldo (POR/Real Madrid)
Wayne Rooney (ENG/Manchester United)
Yaya Touré (CIV/Manchester City)
Robin van Persie (NED/Arsenal, Manchester United)
Xabi Alonso (ESP/Real Madrid)
Xavi Hernandez (ESP/FC Barcelona)

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