Ex-Downs bosses on Ballon d'Or shortlist

World News

Two former Mamelodi Sundowns managers have been nominated for a spot in the Ballon d'Or Dream Team.

With the 2020 Ballon d'Or ceremony scrapped due to the coronavirus pandemic, the award's founders France Football have introduced the Ballon d'Or Dream Team, which seeks to recognise the greatest players to have graced the pitch.

Former Downs boss Johan Neeskens, who was one of the world's leading midfielders in the 1970s, has been included among the nominees in recognition of his performances for the likes of Ajax Amsterdam, FC Barcelona and the Netherlands national team. 

The 69-year-old later enjoyed spells across the US and Switzerland before embarking on a managerial career, which culminated in 2012 following a brief spell in South Africa with Masandawana.

Neeskens is joined on the list of nominees by fellow Barcelona legend and 1994 Ballon d'Or winner Hristo Stoichkov, who enjoyed a similarly brief spell in charge at Chloorkop between 2009 and 2010.

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You can see all of the nominees for the Ballon d'Or Dream Team below:

GK: Gordon Banks, Gianluigi Buffon, Iker Casillas, Sepp Maier, Peter Schmeichel, Edwin Van der Sar, Manuel Neuer, Thomas Nkono, Lev Yashin, Dino Zoff

RB: Giuseppe Bergomi, Cafu, Carlos Alberto, Djalma Santos, Claudio Gentile, Manfred Kaltz, Philipp Lahm, Wim Suurbier, Lilian Thuram, Berti Vogts

LB: Andreas Brehme, Paul Breitner, Antonio Cabrini, Giacinto Facchetti, Junior, Ruud Krol, Paolo Maldini, Marcelo, Nilton Santos, Roberto Carlos

CB: Franco Baresi, Franz Beckenbauer, Fabio Cannavaro, Marcel Desailly, Ronald Koeman, Bobby Moore, Daniel Passarella, Mathias Sammer, Gaetano Scirea, Sergio Ramos

DM: Jozsef Bozsik, Sergio Busquets, Didi, Paulo Falcao, Steven Gerrard, Gerson, Pep Guardiola, Josef Masopust, Lothar Matthaus, Johan Neeskens, Andrea Pirlo, Fernando Redondo, Frank Rijkaard, Bernd Schuster, Clarence Seedorf, Luis Suarez, Marco Tardelli, Jean Tigana, Xabi Alonso, Xavi

AM: Roberto Baggio, Bobby Charlton, Alfredo Di Stefano, Enzo Francescoli, Ruud Gullit, Gheorghe Hagi, Andres Iniesta, Raymond Kopa, Lazslo Kubala, Diego Maradona, Alessandro Mazzola, Pele, Michel Platini, Ferenc Puskas, Gianni Rivera, J. A Schiaffino, Socrates, Francesco Totti, Zico, Zinedine Zidane

RFW: David Beckham, Jairzinho, George Best, Kevin Keegan, Samuel Eto'o, Stanley Matthews, Luis Figo, Lionel Messi, Garrincha, Arjen Robben

LFW: Oleg Blokhine, Rivaldo, Cristiano Ronaldo, Rivelino, Dragan Dzajic, Ronaldinho, Ryan Giggs, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Thierry Henry, Hristo Stoichkov

CF: Dennis Bergkamp, Gerd Muller, Johan Cruyff, Romario, Kenny Dalglish, Ronaldo Nazario, Eusebio, Marco van Basten, Sandor Kocsis, George Weah

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