[AWARDS] Seven players from Spain's World Cup championship team are among the 23 players nominated for the FIFA Ballon d’Or.
FIFA Ballon d'Or (Golden Ball) is a new award following the merger of the FIFA Men's World Player of the Year and France Football's Ballon d'Or awards.
Lionel Messi, winner of both awards in 2009, is among seven Barcelona players nominated for the 2010 award. Bayern Munich had five players nominated, while UEFA Champions League champion Inter Milan and Real Madrid had four picked.
Germany follows Spain with five nominations. Brazil had three players selected, while two players from the Netherlands are on the short list.
The 23-player list consists of 15 players from Europe, five from South America and three from Africa.
The voting will be conducted by the captains and head coaches of national teams as well as by international media representatives selected by France Football.
The winner will be revealed at the first FIFA Ballon d’Or gala as part of a televised ceremony at the Zurich Kongresshaus on Jan. 10, 2011, along with other FIFA awards, the FIFA/FIFPro World XI and the FIFA Puskas Award for the most beautiful goal of the year.
The FIFA Presidential Award and the FIFA Fair Play Award will also be presented during the gala.
FIFA Ballon d’Or 2010:
Xabi Alonso (Spain-Real Madrid)
Daniel Alves (Brazil-Barcelona)
Iker Casillas (Spain-Real Madrid)
Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal-Real Madrid)
Didier Drogba (Ivory Coast-Chelsea)
Samuel Eto’o (Cameroon-Inter Milan)
Cesc Fabregas (Spain-Arsenal)
Diego Forlan (Uruguay-Atletico Madrid)
Asamoah Gyan (Ghana-Rennes and Sunderland)
Andres Iniesta (Spain-Barcelona)
Julio Cesar (Brazil-Inter Milan)
Miroslav Klose (Germany-Bayern Munich)
Philipp Lahm (Germany-Bayern Munich)
Maicon (Brazil-Inter Milan)
Lionel Messi (Argentina-Barcelona)
Thomas Mueller (Germany-Bayern Munich)
Mesut Ozil (Germany-Bayern Munich and Real Madrid)
Carles Puyol (Spain-Barcelona)
Arjen Robben (Netherlands-Bayern Munich)
Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany-Bayern Munich)
Wesley Sneijder (Netherlands-Inter Milan)
David Villa (Spain-Valencia and Barcelona)
The following 10 coaches are in contention for the new FIFA Coach of the Year award for men's soccer:
FIFA World Coach of the Year-Men's Soccer 2010:
Carlo Ancelotti (Italy/ Chelsea)
Vicente del Bosque (Spain/Spain national team)
Alex Ferguson (Scotland/Manchester United)
Pep Guardiola (Spain/Barcelona)
Joachim Loew (Germany/Germany national team)
Jose Mourinho (Portugal/Inter Milan and Real Madrid)
Oscar Tabarez (Uruguay/Uruguay national team)
Louis Van Gaal (Netherlands, Bayern Munich)
Bert Van Marwijk (Netherlands/Netherlands national team)
Arsene Wenger (France/Arsenal)