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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.
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.
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.
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).
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).
Sneijder MUST take this one. He was arguably the only player to perform to his best ability for club and country and won all prizes for that season apart from the World Cup (I think). The rest were either impressive at club OR country. I do agree with Andrew Charlesworth though, besides Sneijder, Gerard Pique was also impressive for club and country. Strange how he isn't included. The same with FABIO COENTRAO of Portugal! The BEST left back of the World Cup tournament but is amazingly overlooked. Very strange. Best manager will HAVE to go to Jose Mourinho. From when you neutralize an arguably perfect Barcelona team AND take their Champions League crown you have to be given credit where it's due.
Posted 21:45 30th October 2010
Has to be Wesley Sneijder surely. The little guy was instrumental with his passing and goals for his club, winning a CL with Inter after playing against the future English Champs, the Spanish and European Champs and then beating the German Champs! He was involved with goals or assists in all of those games! If that wasn't enough he went to the World Cup and carried Holland to the final with some excellent performances and 5 goals to e joint top scorer. Messi scored lots of goals but choked against all the big teams, Iniesta was injured for most of the season and 1 goal in the final shouldn't be enough to win, Xavi was good but 0 goals and 1 or 2 assists in the world cup are pretty poor return. Forlan and Villa should be Sneijders only challengers.
Posted 13:12 30th October 2010
gareth bale anyone? probrably the best left sided player in the world along with ashley cole over the last 6-8 months.dont agree with the redknapp calls but how about ian holloway or de matteo both achieving goals way above their budgets and doing it with style
Posted 08:07 27th October 2010
Always brings a smile to my face when Spurs fans will find any excuse to throw a dig. Let me see. Why would Wenger possibly be there ahead of Redknapp??? How far did Spurs go in the Champions League last year? Where did they finish in the table? Tut tut. Be concerned about how badly you will fail in the Champions League this year and forget the better teams
Posted 07:46 27th October 2010
What has Fabregas done in world cup? Rooney was the best player in epl last season. If fab gets a nomination so should roo. Watch a lot of french football- Gyan?!
Posted 07:23 27th October 2010
Ashely Cole last season was the best left back in the world. He should have been included. Where is Diego Milito? This is injustice to the highest order. What is Arsene Wenger doing in that list? No trophy for five seasons!This is unbelievable!! We are talking football not business.
Posted 01:06 27th October 2010
How can anyone compare the World Cup to the Championship??? If that was the case England would have at least got to the semi''''s seeing we have a significant number of Champions League players that start. Anyhow it wasn''''t based on the World Cup it was based on how well players performed this year. The only englishman worthy enough to get on it was Rooney and he only had 3 good months this year, he''''s been shocking for the rest of it.
Posted 21:34 26th October 2010
Arsene wengers nomination is a joke really. Though anyone claiming Harry redknapp should have been nominated ahead of him is also a joke! To answer "name supplied" Arsenal finished above Totenham and played in the champions league quarter finals having spent much less in the transfer market than spurs who finished 4th???!! Mourinho was the coach of last season by some distance.
Posted 20:15 26th October 2010
Will probably go to Sneijder. Messi has had the best SEASON but the world cup is going to be a big factor and Sneijder was brilliant at both. the managers are a joke, Fergie??? yer well done on your carling cup victory... Has to go to Mourinho for his treble. There should be a couple of english players though. Rooney and Cole deserve a spot ahead of a lot especially Puyol Muller Gyan and Klose
Posted 19:49 26th October 2010
Tevez????? And I''''m not a fan of Gonzalo Higuain but he did score a hatful last season, and scored 4 without ever getting into gear in the World Cup. Robben, Iniesta, or Messi to win. Messi probably, since he did score 47 goals for Barca last season, and was just unlucky with a few breaks in the WC. Dani Alves, Klose, and Gyan??? They''''re having a laugh, right?
Posted 19:21 26th October 2010
Its about time the these so called great world players that play in the EPL have not been selected ashley cole is one of the most over-rated players in world and should not be selected for anything never mind the chelsea team. wayne rooney was awful at the world cup and has bearly played this season so dosen''''t deserve to be selected. The La Liga is now the best league in the world and the Serie A is not far behind it is know just a matter of time when the EPL goes bust cause there so much debt involved in the league i can''''t wait till it happens it will be fun to watch
Posted 19:15 26th October 2010
So there is no English player been nominated for the Balon d''''Or could it just be that none are good enough? Not even the grossly overpaid and overhyped Rooney? La Liga is the best league and has the best players in the world. The Premier league has an over-inflated opinion of itself and has tunnel vision as far as English football is concerned. Real class players can and do perform on any stage. I can only assume most of the comments have come from fans who do not watch the Spanish matches week in week out and wear these red and white glasses all the time. If they did the nominations would not be questioned.
Posted 18:40 26th October 2010
Nice to see Cesc and Wenger up there.. Hope Cesc wins it..
Posted 17:33 26th October 2010
For me it has to be diego forlan or wesley sneijder.. both have performed for club and country. forlan won athletico the UEFA cup, and was the best player of the tournament in the WC, and no1 expected Uruguay to go that far.. Sniejder we all know, champions league and WC final.. so they get my vote.. as for manager either del bosque or mourinho, i would say del bosque.. mourinho can win the award many years ahead! i do feel though that FIFA have shortlisted the majority of candidiates on the back of WC performances.. I thought this was an accolade for players for LAST SEASON not a 3-4 tournament 3 months ago..
Posted 17:25 26th October 2010
How can this award be taken seriously when it is quite clear the nominees have been chosen on the basis of a three week tournament involving distinctly average teams filled with players that are not good enough to play Champions League. With the exception of about 7 nations, international football is no better than the Championship standard. It amazes me that people take it so seriously!
Posted 13:09 26th October 2010
here here, where is Ashley Cole? Messi Ronaldo and Sneijder are all great attackers but their defensive side of the game is lacking. Ashley Cole, Dani Alves and Stevie Gerrard are the best all round footballers in the world
Posted 13:09 26th October 2010
Just shows the arrogance of the English that they feel any of their so called superstars should be in with a shout of this top prize. It is a very poor setup though that doesn''''t seem to consider the lesser leagues in all Continents like Rangers & Sir Walter Smith who without spending a penny for 2 and a half years has guided Rangers to two league titles and is currently unbeaten domestically and in the Champions League. We are the people!
Posted 13:06 26th October 2010
Tough call between Messi, Sneijder and Xavi. Messi won the Golden Boot for being the top scorer in European domestic leagues last season, and single handedly won many games for Barca. Sneijder and Xavi on the other hand, had masterful displays for club and country respectively. Xavi was man of the match for several key games in the world cup, despite all the hype that surrounded the then-in form Villa. Xavi''''s come close for the Ballon d''''Or award on 2 or 3 occasions, so it''''s about time players like these get recognized and rewarded for their contributions.
Posted 12:59 26th October 2010
Arsene Wenger??? Can someone remind me what he''''s won in the last 5 years please??
Posted 12:56 26th October 2010
I agree most of these players are on here because they had a good world cup, which its ridiculous. How come Darren Bent has been overlooked? he had an amazing season last season, as did rooney and ashley cole. Its typical of FIFA to do it this way which is pretty unfair for player who play excellent all season
Posted 12:43 26th October 2010
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