Reckon the 23-man shortlist for tonight's FIFA Ballon d'Or sounds a bit too long? You're not the only one.

The annual competition to crown the greatest player in world football has become so stale and uninteresting that Paul Hollywood might describe it as a "bad bake". Lionel Messi will win. Cristiano Ronaldo will stand next to him and force the world's least convincing smile. One of Barcelona's other scuttling midfield pass-monkeys will come third.

We've drafted our own shorter shortlist, but if your pick isn't in our suggestions feel free to fume about it in the comments below.

P.S. We've omitted defenders and goalkeepers for the simple reason that, FIFA being the way it is, defenders and goalkeepers will never, ever win this competition. Sorry Philipp Lahm.



Tireless Barcelona mastermind Xavi Hernandez


Slightly-more-attacking tireless Barcelona mastermind Andres Iniesta


Actual cannibal and hat-trick hero Luis Suarez


Dependable Dutch volley-whacker Robin Van Persie

More assists than a personal shopper Mesut Ozil

Imperious man mountain Zlatan Ibrahimovic


Bayern's jack-of-all-trades Thomas Muller

Lanky Polish goal-hound Robert Lewandowski

Expensive British export (non refunde, senor) Gareth Bale

He cuts in from the right, shoots with his left, iiiit's Arjen Robben

Words by Joe Mackertich. Follow him on Twitter here. He's dead funny.