Barcelona trio on shortlist for Fifa Ballon d’Or award
Barcelona players swept aside the competition for this year’s Fifa Ballon d’Or award after Lionel Messi, Xavi and Andres Iniesta were named as the final nominees for the prize.
The new award is the result of the merging of the the Fifa World Player of the Year, which is voted for by players and coaches, and the Ballon d’Or, which was awarded by journalists via France Football magazine.
Barcelona superstar Messi, who scored 34 league goals last season and has bagged 15 so far this campaign, won both prizes last year.
Midfield pairing Xavi and Iniesta both sparkled for Spain during their country’s triumph at the World Cup this year with Iniesta scoring the only goal of the games as his side beat the Netherlands 1-0 in extra-time in the final.
Also announced on Monday were the nominees for the newly-created Fifa World Coach of the Year award. The inaugural prize will be contested by Barcelona’s Pep Guardiola, Spain coach Vicente del Bosque and Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho, who last season guided Inter Milan to an historic treble.
The winners of both awards will be announced at a ceremony held on 10 January in Zurich.