Three stars behind Leicester City’s Premier League triumph have joined the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo on the shortlist for the FIFA Best Player award.
N’Golo Kante – now of Chelsea – has been nominated along with Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy for the prize, which is given to the player deemed the best in the world in 2016.
Sergio Aguero, Gareth Bale, Antoine Griezmann, Paul Pogba and Luis Suarez are all on the 23-man shortlist, as is West Ham midfielder Dimitri Payet.
Sergio Ramos is the only defender on the list, as Atletico Madrid’s Diego Godin – who was nominated for the Ballon d’Or – misses out, along with Pepe, who won both the Champions League and Euro 2016.
— FIFA.com (@FIFAcom) November 4, 2016
Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Juventus duo Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala as well as Bayern Munich pair Thomas Muller and Arturo Vidal also missed out on nominations, despite making the Ballon d’Or shortlist.
Similarly, goalkeepers Hugo Lloris and Rui Patricio fail to make the list, as does Atletico Madrid star Koke.
The list was decided by a FIFA panel of experts known as the FIFA Football Committee, with the winner to be decided by a vote split between national team captains and players, selected media representatives, and a global fan poll.
The Best FIFA Men’s Player 2016 shortlist:
Sergio Aguero, Gareth Bale, Gianluigi Buffon, Kevin De Bruyne, Antoine Griezmann, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Andres Iniesta, N’Golo Kante, Toni Kroos, Robert Lewandowski, Riyad Mahrez, Lionel Messi, Luka Modric, Manuel Neuer, Neymar, Mesut Ozil, Dimitri Payet, Paul Pogba, Sergio Ramos, Cristiano Ronaldo, Alexis Sanchez, Luis Suarez, Jamie Vardy.