Munich - League leaders FC Bayern Munich enjoyed a well-earned beer at the world-famous Oktoberfest on Sunday, and for three of the squad there was even more reason to toast as news emerged on Tuesday of their respective nominations for the prestigious FIFA World Player award.
Jury of Peers
, and have all been shortlisted for the gong, while head coach Jupp Heynckes is among the names for the World Coach of the Year prize.
A panel of leading players and coaches from various national teams, as well as experts from the publication France Football, will decide on the winning player and coach in December. The ceremony will take place at the Home of FIFA in January in Zürich.
The inclusion of the three stars is an improvement on 2011, when two FC Bayern figures, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Thomas Müller, made the list. Last year's award was collected by Barcelona's mercurial talent Lionel Messi, with Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo and Barca midfielder Xavi joining him on the podium.
Worthy of Recognition
Heynckes steered FC Bayern to second in the Bundesliga and the finals of both the DFB Cup and the UEFA Champions League during a season in which Lahm, Neuer and Gomez proved instrumental.
Gomez found the net a staggering 45 times in all competitions, including 26 in the Bundesliga, while Neuer went 1,018 minutes without conceding a goal, surpassing the record previously held by Bayern legend Oliver Kahn in the process. Captain Lahm, meanwhile, played in 31 of the team's league matches and also led Germany to the semi-finals of UEFA EURO 2012 in the summer.