Spain Reigns as Barcelona and Real Madrid Players Swamp Ballon d'Or Shortlist

Players from Real Madrid and Barcelona dominate the race to be crowned the world's best footballer after FIFA announced the 23-man shortlist for 2015 Ballon d'Or.

Former winners Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are the most celebrated—and predictable—names on the list published by FIFA on Tuesday. The Portugal and Argentina forwards are among six Barcelona and five Real players.

Five footballers from the English Premier League—Manchester City's Sergio Agüero, Yaya Touré and Kevin de Bruyne, plus Chelsea's Eden Hazard and Alexis Sanchez of Arsenal—also made the cut, while German champions Bayern Munich also contributed five players to the list.

The final two players were Paul Pogba of Italian champions Juventus and Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, captain of French champions Paris Saint-Germain. Welshman Gareth Bale, who plays for Real, was the only British player to make the shortlist.

A longer, 59-candidate list was leaked to Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo earlier in October. The long list included Australian midfielder Massimo Luongo, who plays for Queens Park Rangers in the English second tier, and Arsenal's reserve goalkeeper David Ospina.

FIFA also announced a 10-man shortlist for the World Coach of the Year, which features Chelsea's José Mourinho and Arsène Wenger, of Arsenal. Jorge Sampaoli, who won the Copa America championship with Chile in July, was he only national team manager to be nominated.

A 10-woman shortlist for the FIFA Women's World Player of the Year—the female equivalent to the Ballon d'Or—was announced on Monday. Three American players—Carli Lloyd, Megan Rapinoe and Hope Solo—made the list after the U.S. women's team won their third World Cup in July.

The awards recognize achievements between November 22, 2014 and November 20, 2015. A three-person shortlist for both the men's and women's categories will be announced on November 30, with the winners announced in Zurich on January 11, 2016.

Ballon d'Or shortlist:

Sergio Agüero (Argentina/Manchester City), Gareth Bale (Wales/Real Madrid), Karim Benzema (France/Real Madrid), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal/Real Madrid), Kevin De Bruyne (Belgium/VfL Wolfsburg/Manchester City), Eden Hazard (Belgium/Chelsea), Zlatan Ibrahimović (Sweden/Paris Saint-Germain), Andrés Iniesta (Spain/Barcelona), Toni Kroos (Germany/Real Madrid), Robert Lewandowski (Poland/Bayern Munich), Javier Mascherano (Argentina/Barcelona), Lionel Messi (Argentina/Barcelona), Thomas Müller (Germany/Bayern Munich), Manuel Neuer (Germany/Bayern Munich), Neymar (Brazil/Barcelona), Paul Pogba (France/Juventus), Ivan Rakitić (Croatia/Barcelona), Arjen Robben (Netherlands/Bayern Munich), James Rodríguez (Colombia/Real Madrid), Alexis Sánchez (Chile/Arsenal), Luis Suárez (Uruguay/Barcelona), Yaya Touré (Ivory Coast/Manchester City), Arturo Vidal (Chile/Juventus/Bayern Munich).

FIFA World Coach of the Year shortlist:

Massimiliano Allegri (Italy/Juventus), Carlo Ancelotti (Italy/Real Madrid), Laurent Blanc (France/Paris Saint-Germain), Unai Emery (Spain/Sevilla FC), Pep Guardiola (Spain/FC Bayern Munich), Luis Enrique Martínez (Spain/FC Barcelona), José Mourinho (Portugal/Chelsea), Jorge Sampaoli (Argentina/Chilean national team), Diego Simeone (Argentina/Atlético Madrid), Arsène Wenger (France/Arsenal).