Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney is the only English player to be nominated for this year’s Ballon d’Or World Player of the Year award.
The England front man has been included in the shortlist which contains 23 of the World’s best footballers from this year (2011). Barcelona make up a big part of the list as seven of Pep Guardiola’s side are nominated. Inevitably last year’s winner Lionel Messi is the favourite to scoop the award but he will face stiff competition from team mates Xavi and Andres Iniesta along with Spain’s David Villa.
There are five Real Madrid players on the list including Messi’s most likely competitior Cristiano Ronaldo. Mesut Ozil, Iker Casillas, Karim Benzema and Xabi Alonso are the other nominated from the Bernabeau.
Rooney is the only English player nominated but Premier League based players Luis Suarez of Liverpool, Man City’s Sergio Aguero and Rooney’s United team mate Nani are on the 23 man list.
Meanwhile the coach of the year nominations have also been named with Barca’s Pep Guardiola the likely winner after guiding his side to the Champions League, Club World Cup and La Liga. Arsene Wenger, Sir Alex Ferguson and Andre Villas- Boas are all included.
FIFA Ballon d’Or shortlist: Eric Abidal (France), Sergio Aguero (Argentina), Karim Benzema (France), Iker Casillas (Spain), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Dani Alves (Brazil), Samuel Eto’o (Cameroon), Cesc Fabregas (Spain), Diego Forlan (Uruguay), Andres Iniesta (Spain), Lionel Messi (Argentina), Thomas Muller (Germany), Nani (Portugal), Neymar (Brazil), Mesut Ozil (Germany), Gerard Pique (Spain), Wayne Rooney (England), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany), Wesley Sneijder (Netherlands), Luis Suarez (Uruguay), David Villa (Spain), Xabi Alonso (Spain), Xavi (Spain).
FIFA World Coach of the Year shortlist: Vicente Del Bosque (Spain/Spain national team), Sir Alex Ferguson (Scotland/Manchester United FC), Rudi Garcia (France/Lille OSC), Pep Guardiola (Spain/FC Barcelona), Jurgen Klopp (Germany/Borussia Dortmund), Joachim Low (Germany/Germany national team), Jose Mourinho (Portugal/Real Madrid C.F.), Oscar Tabarez (Uruguay/Uruguay national team), Andre Villas-Boas (Portugal/FC Porto, Chelsea FC), Arsene Wenger (France/Arsenal FC).