Ballon d’Or: Power Ranking the 23 Finalists

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Jun 22, 2014; Manaus, Amazonas, BRAZIL; Portugal forward Cristiano Ronaldo (7) reacts to missing a shot during the second half of their 2-2 tie with the United States in a 2014 World Cup game at Arena Amazonia. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

On Monday, FIFA released their shortlist of 23 players for the Ballon D’or award. The award, for those unaware, is given to the best player in the world for the preceding calendar year – 2014 in this case.

The list was full of the usual candidates: Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Zlatan Ibrahimovic. It also featured some new names from last year’s shortlist, namely Thibaut Courtois, Diego Costa, and Sergio Ramos. It also included some World Cup stars like Mario Gotze, James Rodriguez, and Neymar.

The who’s who of players listed is certainly one of the more competitive and deep lists of players in recent memory considering it was a World Cup year.

I’ll take a look and rank the 23 players for the award from bottom to top. And it’s certain to draw controversy.

I know this is based on 2014 performance, but most stats will be from 2013-14 season as strict yearly stats are hard to find.

Let us know your thoughts below.