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|BERRA Nikita Kucherov Jersey , Oct. 6 (Xinhua) -- The exploits of Australian Socceroos' Massimo Luongo in January's AFC Asian Cup have propelled the young star into the race for world football's greatest individual honor, the Ballon d'Or.
The 23-year-old, who this season moved to Queens Park Rangers in the English Championship from third-tier side Swindon Town Steven Stamkos Jersey , was a surprising inclusion on the 59-man shortlist released on Tuesday.
The list places Luongo's name alongside some of football's biggest names, including past winners Leo Messi (four time winner) and Cristiano Ronaldo (three).
Luongo, who led Australia to its first piece of international silverware as the player of the tournament in the Asian Cup Throwback Tampa Bay Lightning Jerseys , was surprised to be in the race for the crown.
"I didn't even know if it was real... I thought it was someone trying to be funny," he told Australian Associated Press on Tuesday.
"It's obviously a big honor, not many people get on it Custom Tampa Bay Lightning Jerseys , I can say I've been on the Ballon d'Or list now.
"I don't know what to say about it... it's a bit random."
However, worldwide media has reacted with surprise - and derision - at FIFA's nod to the midfielder, in spite of his stellar form for club and country in 2015.
Spanish sports newspaper Marca called Luongo a "surprise candidate Authentic Tampa Bay Lightning Jerseys ," while Madrid daily AS accused football's international body of "belittling" the award by including such a "stranger."
Australian media highlighted how Luongo made the list ahead of absentees David Silva, Gerard Pique, Sergio Busquets Tampa Bay Lightning Jerseys For Sale , Jordi Alba, Mesut Ozil, Philipp Lahm Cheap Tampa Bay Lightning Jerseys , Marco Reus, Koke, Vincent Kompany and Marco Verratti - all superstars on the international and club scene.
Luongo joins Socceroo legends Harry Kewell and Tim Cahill as the only Australians to be named on the shortlist for the award.
The midfielder Vladislav Namestnikov Lightning Jersey , who has been playing further forward alongside striker Charlie Austin since his switch to Rangers, said he had joked with teammates that he had "no chance of winning it."
But he did not rule out a miracle altogether. "I'm on the list so you never now," Luongo said.
The list will be whittled down to 23 candidates later in the year Andrei Vasilevskiy Lightning Jersey , before the eventual winner is revealed at a FIFA awards ceremony in January next year.
VIENTIANE， Nov. 26 (Xinhua) -- The two Secretariat Offices of the Mekong River Commission (MRC) will be merged into one， located in Lao capital Vientiane while the MRC Regional Flood Management and Mitigation Center will remain in Cambodian capital Phnom Penh， to continue to provide regional flood forecasts.
These are the key points of a roadmap approved by the MRC Council at its 23rd annual meeting， held from Wednesday to Thursday in Pakxe of southern Lao Champassak province， Lao state-run online newspaper Vientiane Times reported on Friday.
The consolidation of the secretariat offices， currently located in Phnom Penh and Vientiane， was decided by the prime ministers of the two host countries， Cambodia and Laos in July 2016.
The council， the MRC's highest decision making body， approved the plan and the relocation process will start in the coming December and be finished by the end of February.
The decision came during an annual meeting where the four council members， Cambodia， Laos， Thailand and Vietnam， discussed how to strengthen the implementation of MRC procedures， including the prior consultation process for mainstream development， cooperation with China and Myanmar and development partners， and other regional initiatives.
The meeting also reviewed the progress of implementing the Basin Development Strategy for 2016-2020 and the MRC Annual Work Plan for 2016. The council approved the MRC Annual Work Plan for 2017， with a fully funded budget of 15 million U.S. dollars.
Speaking at the meeting， Laos' Minister of Natural Resources and Environment and Chairperson of the MRC Council for 2016， Sommad Pholsena， said， "I'm very pleased and optimistic that our concerted efforts and the Mekong spirit will bring us more positive outcomes in our increased cooperation among member countries as well as cooperation with our dialogue partners， development partners and other stakeholders."
The MRC's development partners welcomed the decision and the efforts of the MRC member countries to establish a single secretariat office in Vientiane， according to the report.
OSLO， Nov. 22 (Xinhua) -- Norway's central bank said on Tuesday that it would put new and more secure banknotes into circulation from summer 2017.
"As the central bank， Norges Bank bears the responsibility for ensuring that the security level of Norwegian banknotes is sufficiently high at all times，" the bank's governor Oystein Olsen was quoted as saying in a statement.
"Norges Bank has therefore produced a new banknote series that is more secure than ever before，" he said.
In recent years， a number of Norway's neighboring countries have issued new and more secure banknotes， and fortunately only a very small proportion of banknotes in Norway are counterfeit， according to the banks.
However， if Norway's banknotes lag behind in terms of security， it could run the risk of developing a counterfeiting problem， it said.
Norges Bank aims to put the new 100-krone and 200-krone notes into circulation on May 30 next year. The new 50-krone and 500-krone notes will be published in the third quarter of 2018， while the new 1，000-krone notes will be issued in the fourth quarter of 2019， according to public broadcaster NRK.
For the first time in the country's history， Norwegian banknotes will not feature portraits. Instead， the new notes all reflect a common theme: "The Sea，" the central bank said in the statement.
A traditional， iconic design features on the front of the new notes， with a different maritime motif for each denomination. The modern， pixelated patterns on th.