• Kyodo

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Leicester City’s Japan international striker Shinji Okazaki has made the initial 59-name list of candidates for the FIFA Ballon d’Or prize, according to a report Friday in Spanish sports daily Mundo Deportivo.

Okazaki scored 12 goals for German club for Mainz last season before moving to Premier League side Leicester this summer on a four-year deal thought to be worth €10 million.

The top international scorer in the world in 2009, Okazaki has been capped 95 times for Japan, scoring 46 times including a brace in a 6-0 drubbing of Afghanistan in a World Cup qualifier last month.

The gala for the Ballon d’Or, FIFA’s World Player of the Year award, will take place in January.

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