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Ballon D’Or longlist includes Messi, Ronaldo... and Luongo?!?


during the 2015 Asian Cup final match between Korea Republic and the Australian Socceroos at ANZ Stadium on January 31, 2015 in Sydney, Australia.

Ryan Pierse

Do you know who Massimo Luongo is?

The 23-year-old Australian and Asian Cup MVP is a new QPR member, but also somehow amongst the field of 59 players from which the 2015 Ballon D’Or winner will be chosen.

Surprises? Boy, are there some doozies (though less so when you consider international play). Luongo, who spent last season at Swindon Town, is joined by Christian Atsu, David Ospina and Gary Medel. Also in the mix, of course, are usual suspects Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

[ VIDEO: Amy Rodriguez scores NWSL’s title-winning goal ]

The 59 names, leaked to Mundo Deportivo, will be whittled down to 23 before the end of the year. Cristiano Ronaldo has won the last two awards, with Lionel Messi snaring the three previous titles. Each has finished second to the other for the last four seasons.

Barcelona and Real Madrid pace the list with 7 nominees each, while New York City FC’s Andrea Pirlo and L.A. Galaxy striker Giovani Dos Santos are surprise MLS inclusions (due largely to their time in Juventus and Villarreal, no doubt).

PSV Eindhoven and Mexico star Andres Guardado is also on the list after he led Mexico in scoring during the country’s Gold Cup title run (which of course means the USMNT’s failure to claim the tournament’s title cost tournament-leading scorer Clint Dempsey a spot).

Premier Leaguer clubs involved in the mix: Manchester City (5), Chelsea (4), Manchester United (3), Arsenal (2), Tottenham (2), Liverpool (1), Leicester City (1), Swansea City (1). Bournemouth and Everton share Christian Atsu, even though both on loan from Chelsea. Fun.

Full list
Claudio Bravo - Barcelona
Javier Mascherano - Barcelona
Andrés Iniesta - Barcelona
Lionel Messi - Barcelona
Ivan Rakitic - Barcelona
Neymar - Barcelona
Luis Suárez - Barcelona
Gareth Bale - Real Madrid
Karim Benzema - Real Madrid
Sergio Ramos - Real Madrid
Cristiano Ronaldo - Real Madrid
Luka Modric - Real Madrid
James Rodríguez - Real Madrid
Toni Kroos - Real Madrid
Giorgio Chiellini - Juventus
Paul Pogba - Juventus
Alvaro Morata - Juventus
Arturo Vidal - Juventus/Bayern
Andrea Pirlo - Juventus/New York City FC
Carlos Tevez - Juventus/Boca Juniors
Robert Lewandowski - Bayern Munich
Arjen Robben - Bayern Munich
David Alaba - Bayern Munich
Thomas Müller - Bayern Munich
Manuel Neuer - Bayern Munich
Wilfried Bony - Manchester City
Yaya Touré - Manchester City
Sergio Agüero - Manchester City
Nicolás Otamendi - Valencia/Manchester City
Kevin de Bruyne - Wolfsburg/Manchester City
Diego Costa - Chelsea
Willian - Chelsea
Thibaut Courtois - Chelsea
Eden Hazard - Chelsea
Edinson Cavani - PSG
Zlatan Ibrahimovic - PSG
Javier Pastore - PSG
Wayne Rooney - Manchester United
David de Gea - Manchester United
Memphis Depay - PSV/Manchester United
David Ospina - Arsenal
Alexis Sánchez - Arsenal
Antoine Griezmann - Atlético Madrid
Jackson Martínez - Porto/Atlético Madrid
Carlos Bacca - Sevilla/Milan
Giovani dos Santos - Villarreal/LA Galaxy
Philippe Coutinho - Liverpool
Son Heung-min - Bayer Leverkusen/Tottenham
Christian Atsu - Everton/Bournemouth
Paolo Guerrero - Flamengo/Corinthians
Eduardo Vargas - QPR/Hoffenheim
Gary Medel - Internazionale
Harry Kane - Tottenham
Alexandre Lacazette - Lyon
Andrés Guardado - PSV
Carlos Sánchez - River Plate
André Ayew - Marseille/Swansea
Massimo Luongo - Swindon/QPR
Shinji Okazaki - Mainz/Leicester

Follow @NicholasMendola