FIFA has announced the 23-man shortlist for Ballon d’Or 2012. As expected, Spanish players dominates the list with six players from the World champions’ squad. While Ballon d’Or favorites Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo expectantly found their way onto the list, there were some notable omissions.
Among the strikers Mario Gomez, who scored 40 goals for Bayern Munich (in all competitions) last season, will consider himself unlucky to miss out. While Manchester City teammates David Silva and Vincent Kompany, who were crucial in City’s Premier League triumph last season (Silva also excelled for Spain), were two of the other notable omissions. Sami Khedira, who was crucial in Madrid’s La Liga triumph, and Ashley Cole despite playing a key role in Chelsea’s Champions League victory, also missed out from the list.
23-man shortlist for Ballon d’Or 2012
Sergio Aguero (Manchester City and Argentina); Mario Balotelli (Manchester City and Italy); Karim Benzema (Real Madrid and France); Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus and Italy); Sergio Busquets (Barcelona and Spain); Iker Casillas (Real Madrid and Spain); Didier Drogba (Chelsea/Shanghai Shenhua and Ivory Coast); Radamel Falcao (Atletico Madrid and Colombia); Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Paris Saint-Germain/Milan and Sweden); Andres Iniesta (Barcelona and Spain); Lionel Messi (Barcelona and Argentina); Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich and Germany); Neymar (Santos and Brazil); Mesut Ozil (Real Madrid and Germany); Gerard Pique (Barcelona and Spain); Andrea Pirlo (Juventus and Italy); Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid and Spain); Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid and Portugal); Wayne Rooney (Manchester United and England); Yaya Toure (Manchester City and Ivory Coast); Robin van Persie (Manchester United/Arsenal and Netherlands); Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid and Spain); Xavi (Barcelona and Spain)
The 10-man short list for World Coach of the year was also announced with Vicente del Bosque and Roberto Di Matteo believed to be the initial favorites to win the award.
10-man Shortlist For FIFA World Coach Of The Year Award
Vicente del Bosque (Spain); Roberto Di Matteo (Chelsea); Sir Alex Ferguson (Manchester United); Pep Guardiola (Barcelona, now unemployed); Jupp Heynckes (Bayern Munich); Juergen Klopp (Borussia Dortmund); Joachim Loew (Germany); Roberto Mancini (Manchester City); Jose Mourinho (Real Madrid); Cesare Prandelli (Italy)
By late November the list of Ballon d’Or nominees will be trimmed down to just three names, while the winner will be announced in a ceremony in January next year.