The Bayern Bulletin: Ribéry and Heynckes shortlisted, US Tour Extended

Harold Cunningham

The treble winners are well represented in year-end awards, and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge bespeaks an extended trip to the USA

Ribéry and Heynckes on the Brink

Just like the inordinate amount of singing shows on television, the field for the FIFA Ballon d'Or and the Coach of the Year is down to the final three.

Part of those final three are Franck Ribéry, the UEFA European Footballer of the Year, and Jupp Heynckes, the only treble-winning manager of a German side.

For Ribéry, the final vote will be a rematch of his UEFA award, matched up with Christiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. Since Ribéry got his name engrained in the European trophy, Ronaldo has scored 32 goals for club and country, while Messi has missed six of Barcelona's 19 matches in all competitions due to injury.

Heynckes will face off against Sir Alex Ferguson and Jürgen Klopp. Fergusen stepped down from Manchester United after winning his 24th major title for the Club. Jürgen Klopp took Borussia Dortmund to their first UEFA Champions League Final since 1997, although his club finished second in the Bundesliga to FC Bayern, who also eliminated it in the quarterfinals of the DFB Pokal.

With the debate for Ballon d'Or raging on, FIFA will reveal the results on January 13 in Zurich, Switzerland.

Mandzukic shortlisted for World XI

FIFA and FIFPro release the final shortlist of the World XI nominees, the 15 forwards to round out the field of 55 nominees.

On that forward shortlist is FC Bayern's Mario Mandžukić, the Croatian striker who helped his country qualify for the 2014 World Cup, and winning a treble to boot. The 27-year-old scored 25 goals in the 2013 calendar year, five more than he scored in 2012.

The notable absence remains Thomas Müller, who now joins Edin Hazard as the only two players on the original Ballon d'Or shortlist not to be part of the 55 World XI nominees.

Robert Lewandowski was the only other Bundesliga player shortlisted as part of the 15 forwards. Liga BBVA once again had the most forward nominees with four – Diego Costa, Radamel Falcao, Lionel Messi, Neymar, and Christiano Ronaldo – although Neymar and Falcao share half of their affiliation with Santos and AS Monaco respectively.

The Barclays Premier league had for nominees – Sergio Agüero, Wayne Rooney, Luis Suarez and Robert van Persie. Mario Balotelli and Edinson Cavani were the only to Serie A players mentioned, while Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Didier Drogba rounded out the field.

With nine nominees – Manuel Neuer, Philipp Lahm, Dante, Jérôme Boateng, David Alaba, Ribéry, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Arjen Robben, and Mandžukić – FC Bayern is tied with Real Madrid (not counting Mesut Özil) and Barcelona with the most representation on the shortlist. FIFA will reveal the World XI during the Ballon d'Or ceremony on January 13 in Zurich.

FC Bayern could Extend US Tour

Snuck in at the end of his SPORT BILD PLUS interview, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge opened the possibility of extending FC Bayern's tour in the USA after the World Cup.

"We have as the first German club an invitation to the MLS All-Star Game. We have accepted that invitation. We discussed to go a week in the USA and to adhere to one, two games. The DFL has big interests that we go to the USA."

It was alleged FC Bayern would participate in the MLS All-Star Game in mid-November, but the FC Bayern CEO's words are the first admission of an extended stay in the United States.

While terrific news for the American FC Bayern contingent, this is not, well, shocking. Manchester United's trips to the US usually include one or two games outside of the MLS All-Star game. Real Madrid played four games over the past summer in the US. Considering FC Bayern spent multiple summer weeks in Trentino, the club most likely wouldn't fly to the US for a one-off against the MLS All-Stars in Portland.

In case you missed it...

  • A story in the Süddeutsche Zeitung indicated that Germany could adopt goal-line technology as England has over the past few months. The DFL will meet in March to discuss the issue, which became more prominent due to the Stefan Kießling goal for Bayer 04 Leverkusen against TSG 1899 Hoffenheim that resulted in three points for Bayer 04.
  • If there are any questions of whether FC Bayern would take Tuesday's Champions League match seriously, Pep Guardiola answered them in his press conference on Monday.

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