FIFA unveiled the 23 candidates in the running for the FIFA Ballon d'Or this afternoon. Five FC Barcelona players will contend for the award: Messi, Xavi, Iniesta, Pique and Busquets
Keepers: Casillas, Neuer and Buffon
Defenders: Piqué and Ramos
Midfielders: Busquets, Iniesta, Xavi, Özil, Pirlo, Touré Yaya and Xabi Alonso
Forwards: Messi, Balotelli, Benzema, Agüero, Drogba, Falcao, Ibrahimovic, Neymar, Ronaldo, Rooney and Van Persie
Five candidates for the FIFA Ballon d’Or are FC Barcelona players. This Monday at noon the 23 footballers, including Lionel Messi, Xavi Hernández , Andrés Iniesta, Gerard Piqué and Sergio Busquets, in the running for the award were unveiled by FIFA. The name of the winner will be announced on January 7 during the Ballon d’Or Gala in Zurich. The shortlist - final three - will be unveiled in December.
First time for Busquets
Leo Messi, Andrés Iniesta, Xavi Hernández and Gerard Piqué are once again among the 23 finalists for the award. The only Blaugrana candidate that’s new to the list is Serigo Busquets.
It’s worth noting that Leo Messi has won the last three editions of the Ballon d’Or, while Xavi Hernández finished third last year. In 2010, the top three positions were filled by Barça players (Messi, Xavi, Iniesta).
Guardiola among the finalists for Best Manager
The ex-Barça manager Josep Guardiola is among the ten candidates to win the Best Manager of the Year award. Guardiola will contend with Del Bosque, Di Matteo, Ferguson, Heynckes, Klopp, Löx, Mourinho, Mancini and Prandelli.