Andrea Pirlo has been included in the 23-man list for FIFA’s prestigious Ballon d’Or recognition, the annual award handed to the best player in world football.
The midfielder, also shortlisted for last year’s title, is the only Italian and Serie A player in the running for the decorated honour.
His manager, Antonio Conte, is also in contention for a prestigious title of his own, the FIFA World Coach of the Year for Men’s Football 2013.
Back-to-back Scudetto and Italian Super Cup triumphs have cemented the Lecce-born coach’s reputation as one of the finest tacticians around.
And he will go up against some of the most esteemed names in the game when both prizes are handed out as part of a televised show on 13 January 2014 in Zurich.
The full Ballon d’Or shortlist is as follows:
Gareth Bale (Wales), Edinson Cavani (Uruguay), Radamel Falcao (Colombia), Eden Hazard (Belgium), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden), Andrés Iniesta (Spain), Philipp Lahm (Germany), Robert Lewandowski (Poland), Lionel Messi (Argentina), Thomas Müller (Germany), Manuel Neuer (Germany), Neymar (Brazil), Mesut Özil (Germany), Andrea Pirlo (Italy), Franck Ribéry (France), Arjen Robben (Netherlands), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany), Luis Suárez (Uruguay), Thiago Silva (Brazil), Yaya Touré (Ivory Coast), Robin Van Persie (Netherlands), Xavi (Spain).
The following 10 names are in contention for FIFA World Coach of the Year for Men’s Football 2013:
Carlo Ancelotti (Italy/Paris Saint-Germain FC/Real Madrid CF), Rafael Benítez (Spain/Chelsea FC/SSC Napoli), Antonio Conte (Italy/Juventus), Vicente Del Bosque (Spain/Spain national team), Sir Alex Ferguson (Scotland/Manchester United FC former coach), Jupp Heynckes (Germany/FC Bayern München former coach), Jürgen Klopp (Germany/Borussia Dortmund), José Mourinho (Portugal/Real Madrid CF/Chelsea FC), Luiz Felipe Scolari (Brazil/Brazil national team), Arsène Wenger (France/Arsenal FC).