Ballon d’Or finalists boast Spanish domination




The final 23 man list for the prestigious FIFA Ballon d’Or has been revealed and is headed by the 2 time winner Lionel Messi. Messi along with Christiano Ronaldo are the strong favorites once again to win the award. Messi had one of the best seasons ever “individually” by scoring a record number of goals for a season by an individual but failed to win any major trophies with the team after losing out to Real Madrid in the league and exiting the Champions League in the semi – final. This as some people say gives his biggest competitor Chrstiano Ronaldo an edge as he led Madrid to another Spanish league title with record points. Ronaldo was also the central figure in Portugal’s Euro 2012 campaign but lost to champions Spain in the semi – finals on penalties. Had Portugal won the tournament owing to Ronaldo’s brilliance then there would have been very little debate on the winner. Spain and Barcelona star Andres Iniesta is also on the list. Iniesta won the European player of the year award and was also named as EURO 2012’s best player. The final list has 5 from Barcelona and 6 from Real Madrid which makes 11 out of the 23.

Ballon d’Or finalists boast Spanish domination

Ballon d’Or finalists boast Spanish domination

The list also includes 3 goal keepers – Iker Casillas (Spain and Real Madrid), Gianluigi Buffon (Italy and Juventus), Manuel Neur (Germany and Bayern Munich).  Some of the football pundits believe that Casillas deserves the award more than any other goal keeper and giving him the award will be an honour for goal keepers worldwide as their job is one that is not well appreciated.

The list includes players from the Premier League such as – Sergio Aguero, Mario Balotelli, Drogba (now at Shangai Shenua), Wayne Rooney and Robin Van Persie. Rooney is the only English player on the list two years in a row now. The only player on the list to play for a non-European club is the Brazilian super star Neymar.

The final list is as follows:

  1. Sergio Agüero (ARG/Manchester City)
  2. Mario Balotelli (ITA/Manchester City)
  3. Karim Benzema (FRA/Real Madrid)
  4. Gianluigi Buffon (ITA/Juventus)
  5. Sergio Busquets (ESP/FC Barcelona)
  6. Iker Casillas (ESP/Real Madrid)
  7. Didier Drogba (CIV/Chelsea, now Shanghai Shenhua)
  8. Radamel Falcao (COL/Atletico Madrid)
  9. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (SWE/Milan AC, now Paris-SG)
  10. Andrés Iniesta (ESP/FC Barcelona)
  11. Lionel Messi (ARG/ FC Barcelona)
  12. Manuel Neuer (GER/Bayern Munich)
  13. Neymar (BRA/Santos)
  14. Mesut Özil (GER/Real Madrid)
  15. Gerard Piqué (ESP/FC Barcelona)
  16. Andrea Pirlo (ITA/Juventus)
  17. Sergio Ramos (ESP/Real Madrid)
  18. Cristiano Ronaldo (POR/Real Madrid)
  19. Wayne Rooney (ENG/Manchester United)
  20. Yaya Touré (CIV/Manchester City)
  21. Robin van Persie (NETH/Arsenal, now Manchester United)
  22. Xabi Alonso (ESP/Real Madrid)
  23. Xavi Hernandez (ESP/FC Barcelona)

The coaches nominated for the award are: Vicente del Bosque (Spain/Spain national team), Roberto Di Matteo (Italy/Chelsea), Alex Ferguson (Scotland/Manchester United), Pep Guardiola (Spain/Barcelona former coach), Jupp Heynckes (Germany/Bayern Munich), Jurgen Klopp (Germany/Borussia Dortmund), Joachim Low (Germany/Germany national team), Roberto Mancini (Italy/Manchester City), Jose Mourinho (Portugal/Real Madrid), Cesare Prandelli (Italy/Italy national team).

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