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Barcelona top FIFA Ballon d’Or shortlist

Paris :Spanish giants Barcelona top the FIFA shortlist for the Ballon d’Or world player of the year award with six players named in a second 23-strong selection.

They include the favourite for the prestigious award, Argentinian Lionel Messi, as well as Javier Mascherano (Argentina), Andres Iniesta (Spain), Neymar (Brazil), Ivan Rakitic (Croatia) and Luis Suarez (Uruguay).

They will be up against last year’s winner, Cristiano Ronaldo, and his Real Madrid team-mates Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema as well as five players from German giants Bayern Munich.

The winner will be announced in a ceremony at Zurich on January 11.