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In 2020 there will be no Ballon d'Or winner, the prestigious individual award handed out by France Football and that has Leo Messi as a six time winner. Instead the French football magazine has decided to compile a 'Ballon d'Or Dream Team', a best footballing XI chosen by 170 journalists.
Amongst the 110 players nominated for the selection (10 for each position), FC Barcelona is well represented with a total of 23 former or current players with a least one candidate in each position except for goalkeeper and left back. Let's have a look at those names.
In defence we find Lilian Thuram, (Barça 2006-08) at right back and the current coach, Ronald Koeman (1989-95), amongst the nominees at centre back. In midfield we find Sergio Busquets (2008-), Pep Guardiola (1990-2001), Johan Neeskens (1974-79), Bernd Schuster (1980-88), Luis Suárez Miramontes (1953-61) and Xavi Hernández (1998-15). Also nominated is Frank Rijkaard, Barça coach between 2003 and 2008.
Attacking midfield is covered by: Gica Hagi (1994-96), Andrés Iniesta (2002-18), Ladislao Kubala (1950-62) and Diego Armando Maradona (1982-84). The forwards' list is populated by Samuel Eto'o (2004-09), Luis Figo (1995-00) and Leo Messi (2004-) on the right w ing, and Thierry Henry (2007-10), Rivaldo (1997-02), Ronaldinho (2003-08) and Hristo Stoichkov (1990-98) on the left. Finally, amongst centre forwards we find Johan Cruyff (1973-78), Sándor Kocsis (1958-65), Romario (1993-94) and Ronaldo Nazario (1996-97).
23 candidates from a list of 110; there is no doubt that Barça have always been a team with star quality and this roll call of great players confirms that. The blaugranes are no stranger to success in the Ballon d'Or with more winners than any other club: Leo Messi (6), Johan Cruyff (2), Luis Suárez Miramontes, Hristo Stoichkov, Rivaldo and Ronaldinho all having lifted the award as Barça players. In December, France Football will announced the 11 players who will form part of this historic 'Dream Team'.