By DAN KARELL
FIFA released their shortlist of 23 players for the male Ballon d’Or winner and as expected, it’s many of the usual suspects in the group.
Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic lead the shortlist for the Player of the Year award that’s been won by Messi for the last three years. In early December, FIFA and France Football will announce the three finalists for the award, with the decision coming on January 13, 2014 in Zurich, Switzerland.
Messi last season scored an insane 46 goals in the La Liga season alone, four short of his total from a year before. Other notable names on the list include Gareth Bale, Luis Suarez, Neymar, Andres Iniesta, and Franck Ribery.
FIFA also announced the shortlist for the Coach of the Year award, which is lead by Jose Mourinho, Sir Alex Ferguson, and Jupp Heynckes.
Here are some more stories to start your Tuesday:
SINHA CALLED UP TO EL TRI, SAMBUEZA MAY NOT BE ABLE TO JOIN
While Mexico continues to prepare for the all important playoff series against New Zealand in November, a new face has returned to the fold.
Brazilian-born Sinha was recalled on Monday evening by El Tri head coach Miguel Herrera, with the 37-year-old Toluca player coming out of international retirement. He is reportedly just called in for Mexico’s friendly match on Wednesday against Finland in San Diego, Calif. but could potentially make the squad that plays against New Zealand.
Meanwhile, Herrera’s efforts to call up Club America midfielder Rubens Sambueza have hit a roadblock. The Argentine midfielder, who only received his Mexican passport late last week, played for Argentina’s U-17 side at the 2001 U-17 World Cup. The issue with Sambueza is that he played for them before FIFA made the decision to allow players to make a one-time switch, meaning that because the rule doesn’t apply retroactively, FIFA would have to grant the player an exception to play with Mexico.
Wilfried Zaha, who has yet to make an appearance in the Premier League for Manchester United, could be sent out on loan in January. (REPORT)
Arsenal’s Mathieu Flamini is set to miss two to three weeks with a groin injury suffered in the early minutes of Arsenal’s win vs. Crystal Palace. (REPORT)
Malmö FF won it’s 17th Swedish league title last weekend. (REPORT)
Barcelona is trying to persuade Marc-Andre Ter Stegen from signing a new contract with Borussia Monchengladbach. (REPORT)
Juventus have been given a suspended sentence after discriminatory chants from their ultras during the defeat on Sunday to Genoa, with the next measure to be fines and closures from the Italian authorities. (REPORT)
Ajax coach Frank de Boer canceled practice on Tuesday just before high winds ripped their indoor practice bubble facility apart, collapsing the structure. (REPORT)
What do you think of these reports? Do you believe FIFA missed anyone on the Ballon d’Or shortlist? Do you see Sambueza’s situation being resolved quickly? How much will Arsenal miss Flamini?
Share your thoughts below.