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Spaniards dominate Ballon d'Or shortlist

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-10-26

This year's Ballon d'Or shortlist is dominated by seven players from Spain's winning World Cup team. No French, English or Italian players made it onto the list.

AP - Seven players from Spain's World Cup-winning team including Barcelona trio Andres Iniesta, David Villa and Xavi Hernandez were nominated Tuesday for the 2010 FIFA Ballon d'Or world player of the year award.

The 23-man list also has three players who starred both at the World Cup and for their club last season: Golden Ball winner Diego Forlan of Uruguay and Europa League winner Atletico Madrid; Wesley Sneijder of runner-up the Netherlands and European champion Inter Milan; and Thomas Mueller of Germany and Bayern Munich, who was top scorer and voted best young player in South Africa.

The past two winners - Lionel Messi of Argentina and Barcelona and Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal and Real Madrid - are nominated despite disappointing World Cup campaigns.

The 2007 winner Kaka is left off the list, which includes of his Brazil teammates Daniel Alves of Barcelona, and Inter Milan pair Julio Cesar and Maicon.

Chelsea's Ivory Coast forward Didier Drogba and Arsenal's Spanish midfielder Cesc Fabregas are among the three English Premier League players nominated.

The award, formerly known as the FIFA World Player of the Year, is being staged jointly for the first time by FIFA and France Football magazine, which first presented the original Ballon d'Or in 1956.

Votes will be cast by captains and head coaches of men's and women's national teams plus invited journalists. A top-three shortlist will be announced Dec. 6, and the winner named at a ceremony in Zurich on Jan. 10.

Among the 10 candidates for the women's world player award are Brazil's Marta and Germany's Birgit Prinz, who have combined to win the past seven titles.

Awards for the best men's and women's coach will be made for the first time. Spain's Vicente del Bosque is competing for the men's honor with nine rivals including Oscar Tabarez of World Cup semifinalist Uruguay and Jose Mourinho, who won the Champions League with Inter Milan before joining Real Madrid.

The women's list contains Maren Meinert, who led Germany to the Women's Under-20 World Cup title in July, and Albertin Montoya of FC Gold Pride, champion of the United States' Women's Professional Soccer league.

At the January gala, FIFA also will announce a World XI team in conjunction with the FIFPro group of players' unions, the Puskas Award for most beautiful goal of the year, a presidential award and a prize for fair play.

The 23 shorlisted:

Iker Casillas (SPA) Real Madrid, goalkeeper.
Julio Cesar (BRA) Inter Milan, goalkeeper.

Philipp Lahm (GER) – Bayern Munich, defender.
Maicon (BRA) Inter Milan, defender.
Carles Puyol (SPA) FC Barcelona, defender.
Daniel Alves (BRA) FC Barcelona, defender.

Xabi Alonso (SPA) Real Madrid, midfielder.
Cesc Fabregas (SPA), Arsenal midfielder
Xavi Hernandez (ESP) FC Barcelona, midfielder.
Andres Iniesta (SPA) FC Barcelona, midfielder.
Lionel Messi (ARG) FC Barcelona, midfielder.
Thomas Müller (GER) Bayern Munich, midfielder.
Mesut Özil (GER) Werder Bremen and Real Madrid, midfielder.
Arjen Robben (HOL) Bayern Munich, midfielder.
Bastian Schweinsteiger (ALL) Bayern Munich, midfielder.
Wesley Sneijder (HOL) Inter Milan, midfielder.

Didier Drogba (CI) Chelsea, forward.
Samuel Eto'o (CAM) Inter Milan, forward.
Diego Forlan (URU) Atletico Madrid, forward.
Asamoah Gyan (GHA) Rennes and Sunderland, forward.
Miroslav Klose (GER) Bayern Munich, forward.
Cristiano Ronaldo (POR) Real Madrid, forward.
David Villa (SPA) Valencia CF puis FC Barcelona, forward.

Date created : 2010-10-26

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