Arsenal stars Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez have been nominated for Best Fifa Men’s Player 2016 with the winner set to be announced on January 9.
The two Gunners, who missed out on nominations for the Ballon d’Or, are part of a 23-man shortlist which includes 10 players from the Premier League.
Fifa used to be part of the Ballon d’Or award – run by France Football – but have since split and will this year hold their own awards ceremony.
The award also differs from the Ballon d’Or in that the vote is split 50:50 between national teams’ captains and managers votes, and between an online poll and votes from more than 200 media representatives around the world.
The initial list will be reduced to a three-man shortlist on 2 December ahead of the final announcement.
- How will Arsenal line up vs West Ham – Two major changes expected
- Mikel Arteta makes U-turn on long-term Arsenal star – will stay at club
- Revealed: Five-time European champions made ‘concrete offer’ for Aubameyang
Ozil received his nomination after a superb season last time out when he finished the season with the highest number of assists in the Premier League while Sanchez followed an impressive season with Arsenal with winning the Copa America with Chile and being named the tournament’s best player.
Other Premier League players to be included are Manchester United duo Sergio Aguero and Kevin De Bruyne, Leicester trio N’Golo Kante, Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba from Manchester United and West Ham’s Dimitri Payet.
The nominations are well-deserved and due reward for both Arsenal stars who were two of the most high-profile names to be left out of the Ballon d’Or longlist.
Shortlist in full: Sergio Aguero (Manchester City), Gareth Bale (Real Madrid), Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Manchester United), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), N’Golo Kante (Chelsea), Toni Kroos (Real Madrid), Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich), Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City), Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Luka Modric (Real Madrid), Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Neymar (Barcelona), Mesut Ozil (Arsenal), Dimitri Payet (West Ham), Paul Pogba (Manchester United), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal), Luis Suarez (Barcelona), Jamie Vardy (Leicester City).