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Ballon d'Or snubs English

Seven Spaniards dominate contenders for prestigious prize

Last Updated: 30/10/10 11:16am

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Iniesta: Among the favourites

Iniesta: Among the favourites

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English players paid the price for their dreadful performance at the World Cup as they were completely overlooked in the shortlist for the Fifa Ballon d'Or.

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Instead, world champions Spain dominated the contenders as seven of their finals squad were included among the nominees for the prestigious award.

The winners will be revealed in Zurich on 10th January, with Andres Iniesta, who netted the winning goal in the World Cup final in July, on the shortlist alongside Barcelona team-mates Xavi, Carles Puyol and David Villa.

Spain captain Iker Casillas and his Real Madrid colleague Xabi Alonso were also included, along with Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas.

Unprecedented

Fabregas was one of three Premier League players on the 23-man list of nominees. The others were Chelsea's Ivory Coast striker Didier Drogba and Sunderland's Ghana frontman Asamoah Gyan.

Barcelona's Argentina forward Lionel Messi and Brazil right-back Daniel Alves, Atletico Madrid forward Diego Forlan - who scored five goals at the World Cup and received the Golden Ball award - and Real Madrid pair Cristiano Ronaldo and Mesut Ozil made up 11 players nominated from La Liga.

Messi is the reigning Ballon d'Or winner and Fifa World Player of the Year, but the awards have now been merged, so the best player in the world will be recognised by a single accolade - the Fifa Ballon d'Or.

Inter Milan quartet Samuel Eto'o, Julio Cesar, Maicon and Wesley Sneijder were also included after winning an unprecedented Serie A, Coppa Italia and UEFA Champions League treble last term.

Former Inter boss Jose Mourinho, who is now at Real Madrid, headed the candidates for the inaugural World Coach of the Year award.

World Player of the Year nominees:

Xabi Alonso (Spain), Daniel Alves (Brazil), Iker Casillas (Spain), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Didier Drogba (Ivory Coast), Samuel Eto'o (Cameroon), Cesc Fabregas (Spain), Diego Forlan (Uruguay), Asamoah Gyan (Ghana), Andres Iniesta (Spain), Julio Cesar (Brazil), Miroslav Klose (Germany), Philipp Lahm (Germany), Maicon (Brazil), Lionel Messi (Argentina), Thomas Muller (Germany), Mesut Ozil (Germany), Carles Puyol (Spain), Arjen Robben (Holland), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany), Wesley Sneijder (Holland), David Villa (Spain) and Xavi (Spain).

World Coach of the Year nominees:

Carlo Ancelotti (Chelsea), Vicente del Bosque (Spain), Sir Alex Ferguson (Manchester United), Pep Guardiola (Barcelona), Joachim Low (Germany), Jose Mourinho (Inter Milan/Real Madrid), Oscar Tabarez (Uruguay), Louis Van Gaal (Bayern Munich), Bert van Marwijk (Holland) and Arsene Wenger (Arsenal).

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