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Thursday 19 October 2017

Suarez not on Ballon D'Or list

Barcelona's former Liverpool striker Luis Suarez has been omitted from FIFA's 23-man list of contenders for the Ballon D'or award.

The list, which will be whittled down to the one player deemed to be the world's best, has no Englishmen but five Premier League players on it, though there is no place for the division's leading scorer from last season.

Twenty-seven-year-old Suarez 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 as a consequence - a suspension which ended when he made his Barcelona debut against Real Madrid on Saturday - and but for that he would surely have made the list and been a strong contender.

As it is Barcelona forward Lionel Messi and his old foe and the current Ballon D'or holder Cristiano Ronaldo are sure to battle it out once more.

Ronaldo's stunning form in 2014 puts him down as the clear favourite - he guided Real Madrid to the Champions League title in May and has 21 goals in 14 appearances so far this season.

Ballon D'or shortlist: Gareth Bale (Wales), Karim Benzema (France), Diego Costa (Spain), Thibaut Courtois (Belgium), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Angel Di Maria (Argentina), Mario Goetze (Germany), Eden Hazard (Belgium), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden), Andres Iniesta (Spain), Toni Kroos (Germany), Philipp Lahm (Germany), Javier Mascherano (Argentina), Lionel Messi (Argentina), Thomas Mueller (Germany), Manuel Neuer (Germany), Neymar (Brazil), Paul Pogba (France), Sergio Ramos (Spain), Arjen Robben (Netherlands), James Rodriguez (Colombia), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany), Yaya Toure (Cote d'Ivoire).

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