FIFA announces Ballon D'Or shortlist, with a few surprises

Alex Livesey

Wayne Rooney and Gerard Pique have somehow made FIFA's shortlist for the Ballon D'Or.

FIFA have announced their 23-man Ballon D'Or shortlist - and there are a few surprise names in the mix.

Mario Balotelli makes the cut, as do Wayne Rooney and Gerard Pique. The rest of the list contains few surprises as the usual suspects are included, such as Xavi Hernandez, Lionel Messi, and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Quite why the half-injured half-underwhelming likes of Pique and Rooney are named is anyone's guess, but probably more down to their names than their performances over the past year.

The full list:

Sergio Agüero (Manchester City)

Mario Balotelli (Manchester City)

Karim Benzema (Real Madrid)

Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus)

Sergio Busquets (Barcelona)

Iker Casillas (Real Madrid)

Didier Drogba (Chelsea & Shanghai Shenhua)

Radamel Falcao (Atlético Madrid)

Zlatan Ibrahimovic (AC Milan & Paris St Germain)

Andrés Iniesta (Barcelona)

Lionel Messi (Barcelona)

Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich)

Neymar (Santos)

Mesut Özil (Real Madrid)

Gerard Piqué (Barcelona)

Andrea Pirlo (Juventus)

Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid)

Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)

Wayne Rooney (Manchester United)

Yaya Toure (Manchester City)

Robin van Persie (Arsenal & Manchester United)

Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid)

Xavi Hernández (Barcelona)

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