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Andre Ayew, Atsu shortlisted for 2015 Ballon d'or Featured

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Written by  03 October 2015
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Atsu and Andre Atsu and Andre Atsu and Andre

Ghana’s Christian Atsu, who started just one league game in his loan spell at Everton last season, and is yet to play for newly promoted Bournemouth, but excelled for the Black Stars at the Africa Cup of Nations has been shortlisted for this year’s Ballon d’or award.

Swansea City and Black Stars vice-captain Andre Ayew is also on the list thanks to his performances at that tournament.

While Arsenal's David Ospina, who catastrophically dropped a corner over his own goal-line on Tuesday against Olympiacos, is presumably included for his excellent displays in the Copa America.

While Cristiano Ronald and Lionel Messi will once again resume their personal battle to take home the award, the list also includes some names who barely play top-flight football.

Real Madrid and Barcelona lead the way on the 59-strong list, with Wales star Gareth Bale and former Liverpool striker Luis Suarez joining Messi and Ronaldo, who have shared the award between them every year since 2008.

Six members of the Juventus side that defied expectations to make the Champions League final are included in the list, while there are five players from Bayern Munich's Bundesliga winners.

However, despite his heroics in Juve's magical season, which also saw them claim a domestic double, goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon is a surprise omission from the long-list.

However, the biggest shocks come not at the pinnacle of European football, but from the middle of the Championship table.

QPR midfielder Luongo, who spent last year playing in League One for Swindon Town, makes the list thanks to his exploits in the Asia Cup in January.

The Australian was named best player as his team went on to win the competition on home soil.

Leicester striker Shinji Okazaki, who impressed for Japan and Mainz last season, also makes the list after a strong continental championship.

English representation is limited to just two men, with Wayne Rooney joined by Tottenham's Harry Kane, after his breakthrough season last year.

Manchester City are the best represented English club, with three members of last year's squad and two new arrivals, Kevin de Bruyne and Nicolas Otamendi.

However, somewhat bafflingly one of those five is Wilfried Bony, who has struggled to make any sort of impact since arriving from Swansea in January, but did help Ivory Coast to win the Cup of Nations, alongside Yaya Toure, who is also nominated.

Chelsea have four players nominated, including Premier League player of the year Eden Hazard and controversial striker Diego Costa.

Claudio Bravo - Barcelona

Javier Mascherano - Barcelona

Andres Iniesta - Barcelona

Lionel Messi - Barcelona

Ivan Rakitic - Barcelona

Neymar - Barcelona

Luis Suarez - Barcelona

Gareth Bale - Real Madrid

Karim Benzema - Real Madrid

Sergio Ramos - Real Madrid

Cristiano Ronaldo - Real Madrid

Luka Modric - Real Madrid

James Rodriguez - Real Madrid

Toni Kroos - Real Madrid

Giorgio Chiellini - Juventus

Paul Pogba - Juventus

Alvaro Morata - Juventus

Arturo Vidal - Juventus/Bayern

Andrea Pirlo - Juventus/NYCFC

Carlos Tevez - Juventus/Boca

Robert Lewandowski - Bayern

Arjen Robben - Bayern

David Alaba - Bayern

Thomas Muller - Bayern

Manuel Neuer - Bayern

Wilfried Bony - Manchester City

Yaya Toure - Manchester City

Sergio Aguero - Manchester City

Nicolas Otamendi - valencia/Manchester City

Kevin de Bruyne - Wolfsburg/Manchester City



Diego Costa - Chelsea

Willian - Chelsea

Thibaut Courtois - Chelsea

Eden Hazard - Chelsea

Edinson Cavani - PSG

Zlatan Ibrahimovic - PSG

Javier Pastore - PSG

Wayne Rooney - Manchester United

David de Gea - Manchester United

Memphis Depay - PSV/Manchester United

David Ospina - Arsenal

Alexis Sanchez - Arsenal

Antoine Griezmann - Atletico Madrid

Jackson Martinez - Porto/Atletico Madrid

Carlos Bacca - Sevilla/AC Milan

Giovani dos Santos - Villarreal/LA Galaxy

Phillippe Coutinho - Liverpool

Son Heung-Min - Leverkusen/Tottenham

Christian Atsu - Everton/Bournemouth

Paolo Guerrero - Flamengo/Corinthians

Eduardo Vargas - QPR/Hoffenheim

Gary Medel - Inter

Harry Kane - Tottenham

Alexandre Lacazette - Lyon

Andres Guardado - PSV

Carlos Sanchez - River Plate

Andre Ayew - Marseille/Swansea

Massimo Luongo - Swindon/QPR

Shinji Okazaki - Mainz/Leicester

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