2015 Ballon D'Or: Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Arsenal's David Ospina included in leaked longlist

The list includes a number of surprising lesser-known names

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The Independent Football

What appears to be the longlist for world football's most prestigious individual prize, the Ballon D'Or, has been leaked and the names included are somewhat surprising. 

The 59-man-long list, uncovered by Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo, was compiled by Fifa's Football Committee, which counts Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore, goalscoring goalkeeper Jose Luis Chilavert and former Leeds United and Liverpool midfielder Harry Kewell among its ranks.

It is set to be cut to a 23-man shortlist in December ahead of the ceremony in January 2016 and, thanks to international exploits, it includes some surprising names.

The inclusion of Arsenal goalkeeper David Ospina has raised eyebrows, particularly after his high-profile blunder during Tuesday's Champions League defeat to Olympiakos. 

It is likely, however, that the Colombian's nomination relates to his performances for his country at the Copa America, during which he pulled off a number of memorable saves.

Ospina's man-of-the-match display in the quarter-finals against Argentina won him many plaudits, despite his side's eventual defeat on penalties.

Bournemouth's Christian Atsu, on loan at the club from Chelsea, is also consequently longlisted after being named player of the tournament at the Africa Cup of Nations earlier this year.

Barcelona and Real Madrid each have seven players nominated while Manchester City have the most of any Premier League club with five. 

Juventus have six, but there is no place for Gianluigi Buffon, who led the Italian giants to a domestic double and a Champions League final.

Queens Park Rangers, who were relegated from the Premier League last season, can claim a connection to two players on the list in Eduardo Vargas and Massimo Luongo. 


Australian Massimo Luongo has spent much of this calendar year at Swindon Town

The former, who now plays for Hoffenheim, only scored three times for Rangers last season but played a pivotal role in Chile's victorious Copa America-winning campaign. 

Luongo, an Australian who recently moved to Loftus Road from Swindon Town, was named player of the tournament at the Asian Cup earlier this year.

Only two English players, Manchester United's Wayne Rooney and Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Kane, feature on the list.