Manchester United winger Angel di Maria has been nominated for the 2014 FIFA Ballon d’Or.
The Argentina international is on the list of 23 candidates to win the most prestigious individual award in football.
Di Maria has had a great year in which he led Real Madrid to Champions League and Copa del Rey triumphs last season, before playing a key role in Argentina’s march to the final of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Di Maria has started his United career in style as well, scoring three goals and creating 23 chances in seven Premier League appearances.
The 26-year-old is one of the best attacking players in the world, but he was let go by Madrid in the summer transfer window for a British-record fee of £59.7 million.
However, Di Maria’s nomination for the Ballon d’Or is unlikely to have any effect on the Madrid officials. That’s because they have six of their current players in the 23-man shortlist: Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema, Cristiano Ronaldo, Toni Kroos, Sergio Ramos and James Rodriguez.
Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has also been nominated for FIFA World Coach of the Year for Men’s Football 2014, along with nine others including United boss Louis van Gaal.
2014 FIFA Ballon d'Or nominees:
Gareth Bale (Wales), Karim Benzema (France), Diego Costa (Spain), Thibaut Courtois (Belgium), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Angel Di Maria (Argentina), Mario Goetze (Germany), Eden Hazard (Belgium), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden), Andres Iniesta (Spain), Toni Kroos (Germany), Philipp Lahm (Germany), Javier Mascherano (Argentina), Lionel Messi (Argentina), Thomas Mueller (Germany), Manuel Neuer (Germany), Neymar (Brazil), Paul Pogba (France), Sergio Ramos (Spain), Arjen Robben (Netherlands), James Rodriguez (Colombia), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany), Yaya Toure (Côte d’Ivoire).
FIFA World Coach of the Year for Men’s Football 2014 nominees:
Carlo Ancelotti (Italy/Real Madrid CF), Antonio Conte (Italy/Juventus FC/Italy national team), Pep Guardiola (Spain/FC Bayern Munich), Juergen Klinsmann (Germany/ USA national team), Joachim Loew (Germany/Germany national team), Jose Mourinho (Portugal/Chelsea FC), Manuel Pellegrini (Chile/Manchester City FC), Alejandro Sabella (Argentina/Argentina national team), Diego Simeone (Argentina/Atletico Madrid), Louis van Gaal (Netherlands/Netherlands national team/Manchester United FC).