Lionel Messi Shortlisted for FIFA Ballon D’or
Three Barcelona players – Andres Iniesta, Xavi and Lionel Messi – have been short-listed for the Fifa Ballon d’Or award for 2010.
Iniesta and Xavi played for Spain’s victorious World Cup team while Messi played for Argentina in South Africa. The winner will be announced in Zurich on January 10. Last year the trophy went to Messi for his outstanding play at Barcelona.
World governing body Fifa released a first shortlist of 23 players in October 26 with seven members of Spain’s World Cup winning squad in the running for the prestigious Player of the Year award.
The revamped award is a combination of the Fifa World Player of the Year award and the France Football Ballon d’Or trophy which have been run separately until now. Italian sports daily Gazzetta Dello Sport reported in its Sunday edition that the award would go Iniesta, who scored the match winning goal in the World Cup final against the Netherlands in July.
Dutch player Wesley Sneijder had been considered a strong candidate for the award, but he failed to make the shortlist.
Meanwhile, Fifa have also announced the names in contention for their Coach of the Year award. World Cup winner Vicente del Bosque of Spain is up against Barcelona’s Pep Guardiola and Real Madrid’s Jose Mourinho, who won the Champions League, Serie A and Coppa Italia with Inter Milan last season.
List of Nominees: