Six Barça players up for world’s best player award
Carles Puyol, Daniel Alves, Xavi Hernández, Andrés Iniesta, Lionel Messi and David Villa have all been included in the 23-man shortlist for the FIFA Ballon d’Or nomination.
Barcelona (FCB).- The six FC Barcelona stars have been named as FIFA and France Football magazine revealed the players that would compete for the prized award when it is announced on January 10. Pep Guardiola’s side won two trophies during 2010 and regained the Spanish league title with an incredible 99 point haul. Barça also had eight members of the Spain World Cup winning squad.
Bayern Munich are one player behind the Blaugrana with five stars up for nomination as the German giants won the Bundesliga, German cup and finished as runners-up in the Champions League. Real Madrid and Inter have four players in the list each, while Chelsea, Arsenal, Atlético de Madrid and Sunderland have one each.
This the first year in which the best player in the world will receive one award as France Football and FIFA agreed a deal to unite their respective Ballon d’Or and World Player of the Year prizes. Last term Messi won both gongs after a superb 12 months, but will not be aiming to lift just the one treasured prize.
Candidates and teams
FC Barcelona (6): Puyol, Alves, Xavi, Iniesta, Messi, Villa
Bayern Munich (5): Lahm, Schweinsteiger, Müller, Robben, Klose
Real Madrid (4): Casillas, Xabi Alonso, Özil, C. Ronaldo
Inter (4): Júlio César, Maicon, Sneijder, Eto’o
Chelsea (1): Drogba
Arsenal (1): Cesc
Atlético de Madrid (1): Forlán
Sunderland (1): Gyan