Socceroo Massimo Luongo named on Ballon d'Or shortlist

Socceroo Massimo Luongo has been nominated for this year’s Ballon d’Or, joining the likes of world superstars Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in the reckoning for the prestigious award.

The 23-year-old has reportedly been included on an extended list of 59-players for the world footballer of the year title, thanks largely to his exploits in the Socceroos’ AFC Asian Cup triumph.

Luongo was named player of the tournament after some break-out performances on home soil, including scoring the opener in Australia’s 2-1 win over Korea Republic in the final.

The midfielder also had an eye-catching season with Swindon Town in England’s League One which saw him move to Championship club Queens Park Rangers in the off-season.

The news is strong recognition for Luongo, who aside from Messi and Ronaldo joins the likes of Wayne Rooney, Gareth Bale, Neymar, Luis Suarez, Andrea Pirlo, Paul Pogba and Manuel Neuer as nominees.

Luongo also joins an elite company of Aussies to have previosly been named in the running for the award, which includes Tim Cahill and Harry Kewell.

The 2015 Ballon d’Or shortlist will be whittled down to 23 candidates later in the year with the winner set to be announced at a FIFA awards ceremony in January.

Tim Cahill and Massimo Luongo celebrate after combining to score for the Socceroos at the Asian Cup.

Nominees for 2015 Ballon d'Or by club

Claudio Bravo - Barcelona

Javier Mascherano - Barcelona

Andres Iniesta - Barcelona

Lionel Messi - Barcelona

Ivan Rakitic - Barcelona

Neymar - Barcelona

Luis Suarez - Barcelona

Gareth Bale - Real Madrid

Karim Benzema - Real Madrid

Sergio Ramos - Real Madrid

Cristiano Ronaldo - Real Madrid

Luka Modric - Real Madrid

James Rodriguez - Real Madrid

Toni Kroos - Real Madrid

Giorgio Chiellini - Juventus

Paul Pogba - Juventus

Alvaro Morata - Juventus

Arturo Vidal - Juventus/Bayern

Andrea Pirlo - Juventus/NYCFC

Carlos Tevez - Juventus/Boca

Robert Lewandowski - Bayern

Arjen Robben - Bayern

David Alaba - Bayern

Thomas Muller - Bayern

Manuel Neuer - Bayern

Wilfried Bony - Manchester City

Yaya Toure - Manchester City

Sergio Aguero - Manchester City

Nicolas Otamendi - Valencia/Manchester City

Kevin de Bruyne - Wolfsburg/Manchester City

Diego Costa - Chelsea

Willian - Chelsea

Thibaut Courtois - Chelsea

Eden Hazard - Chelsea

Edinson Cavani - PSG

Zlatan Ibrahimovic - PSG

Javier Pastore - PSG

Wayne Rooney - Manchester United

David de Gea - Manchester United

Memphis Depay - PSV/Manchester United

David Ospina - Arsenal

Alexis Sanchez - Arsenal

Antoine Griezmann - Atletico Madrid

Jackson Martinez - Porto/Atletico Madrid

Carlos Bacca - Sevilla/AC Milan

Giovani dos Santos - Villarreal/LA Galaxy

Phillippe Coutinho - Liverpool

Son Heung-Min - Leverkusen/Tottenham

Christian Atsu - Everton/Bournemouth

Paolo Guerrero - Flamengo/Corinthians

Eduardo Vargas - QPR/Hoffenheim

Gary Medel - Inter

Harry Kane - Tottenham

Alexandre Lacazette - Lyon

Andres Guardado - PSV

Carlos Sanchez - River Plate

Andre Ayew - Marseille/Swansea

Massimo Luongo - Swindon/QPR

Shinji Okazaki - Mainz/Leicester