Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich have announced that six of their players are included on the shortlist for the prestigious FIFA Ballon d’Or award.
Bayern tweeted congratulations to Thomas Muller, Manuel Neuer, Arjen Robben, Robert Lewandowski, Arturo Vidal and David Alaba on their official feed.
It is a move that appears to add legitimacy to a 59-strong list of all Ballon d’Or nominees, which was widely reported after being leaked earlier on Friday and included the Bayern sextet.
Barcelona and Real lead the way with seven nominations apiece on the leaked list, which FIFA refused to comment upon while maintaining that their official list will be released on October 7.
Bayern tweeted: “Muller, Neuer, Robben, Alaba, Lewandowski & Vidal are all on the shortlist for the 2015 #BallondOr. Congrats, boys! #MiaSanMia.”
Cristiano Ronaldo is the current holder of the Ballon d’Or, which recognises the world’s leading footballer on an annual basis, and the Real Madrid star or Lionel Messi have taken home the gong in each of the past seven years.
Neuer came third overall last year, with his Bayern team-mate Franck Ribery doing likewise in 2013.