Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Zlatan Ibrahimovic are joined by English Premier League stars Sergio Aguero, Eden Hazard, Alexis Sanchez and Yaya Toure as FIFA announced a 23-man shortlist for the FIFA Ballon d'Or award.
Ronaldo, the current holder of the prestigious award for world player of the year, is likely to go head to head with Messi again for the award, with the Argentine a little ahead at the moment, owing to Barcelona's stellar campaign last season, where they won the treble – the Champions League, La Liga and Copa Del Rey.
Apart from the two superstars, though – and they have dominated this award in recent times – the likes of Suarez, Ibrahimovic, Robert Lewandowski, Thomas Muller and Eden Hazard will fancy their chances as well, while Aguero, Sanchez and a few others will be considered as outsiders.
Barcelona, after their brilliant season, have six players shortlisted for the FIFA Ballon d'Or – Messi, Suarez, Neymar, Andres Iniesta, Ivan Rakitic and Javier Mascherano.
Bayern Munich are right behind Barcelona in terms of nominations, with five players shortlisted – Muller, Lewandowski, Manuel Neuer, Arjen Robben and Arturo Vidal, even if the Chilean has been picked for his performances with Juventus last season.
The shortlist for managers have also been revealed, with Luis Enrique of Barcelona leading the way, although he will be given competition from the likes of Massimiliano Allegri, Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho of Juventus, Bayern Munich and Chelsea respectively. Other contenders include Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone and the brilliant Chile head coach Jorge Sampaoli, who led his country to the Copa America title in the summer.
The voting will be done by all the captains and head coaches of the national teams affiliated with FIFA and a select few members of the media.
The voting will commence on 26 October, with the closing date on 20 November, with the option of extending the deadline by a week, if the necessary two-thirds of the voting percentage is not met.
FIFA and France Football will announce the three candidates, who have received the most votes, on 30 November, before the winner will be unveiled in a grand gala on 11 January, 2016 in Zurich.
FIFA Ballon d'Or shortlist: Sergio Aguero (Argentina/Manchester City), Gareth Bale (Wales/Real Madrid), Karim Benzema (France/Real Madrid), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal/Real Madrid), Kevin De Bruyne (Belgium/VfL Wolfsburg/Manchester City), Eden Hazard (Belgium/Chelsea), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden/Paris Saint-Germain), Andres Iniesta (Spain/FC Barcelona), Toni Kroos (Germany/Real Madrid), Robert Lewandowski (Poland/FC Bayern Munich), Javier Mascherano (Argentina/FC Barcelona), Lionel Messi (Argentina/FC Barcelona), Thomas Muller (Germany/FC Bayern Munich), Manuel Neuer (Germany/FC Bayern Munich), Neymar (Brazil/FC Barcelona), Paul Pogba (France/Juventus), Ivan Rakitic (Croatia/FC Barcelona), Arjen Robben (Netherlands/FC Bayern Munich), James Rodríguez (Colombia/Real Madrid), Alexis Sanchez (Chile/Arsenal), Luis Suarez (Uruguay/FC Barcelona), Yaya Toure (Côte d'Ivoire/Manchester City), Arturo Vidal (Chile/Juventus/FC Bayern Munich).
FIFA Coach of the Year shortlist: Massimiliano Allegri (Italy/Juventus), Carlo Ancelotti (Italy/Real Madrid), Laurent Blanc (France/Paris Saint-Germain), Unai Emery (Spain/Sevilla FC), Pep Guardiola (Spain/FC Bayern Munich), Luis Enrique Martinez (Spain/FC Barcelona), José Mourinho (Portugal/Chelsea), Jorge Sampaoli (Argentina/Chilean national team), Diego Simeone (Argentina/Atletico Madrid), Arsene Wenger (France/Arsenal).
FIFA Women's Player of the Year: Nadine Angerer (Germany/Brisbane Roar/Portland Thorns), Ramona Bachmann (Switzerland/FC Rosengard), Kadeisha Buchanan (Canada/West Virginia University), Amandine Henry (France/Olympique Lyonnais), Eugenie Le Sommer (France/Olympique Lyonnais), Carli Lloyd (USA/Houston Dash), Aya Miyama (Japan/Okayama Yunogo Belle), Megan Rapinoe (USA/Seattle Reign), Celia Sasic (Germany/1.FFC Frankfurt), Hope Solo (USA/Seattle Reign).
FIFA World Coach of the Year for Women's Football 2015: Calle Barrling (Sweden/Swedish U-19 national team), Colin Bell (England/FFC Frankfurt), Farid Benstiti (France/Paris Saint-Germain), Jill Ellis (USA/USA national team), Laura Harvey (England/Seattle Reign), John Herdman (England/Canadian national team), Gerard Precheur (France/Olympique Lyonnais), Mark Sampson (Wales/English national team), Norio Sasaki (Japan/Japanese national team), Thomas Worle (Germany/FC Bayern Munich).