Ballon d’Or 2011: Rooney the only Englishman on shortlist
Man United's Wayne Rooney is the only English player included on the shortlist for the 2011 Ballon d'Or
Wayne Rooney is the only English player on the 23-man shortlist for the prestigious Ballon d’Or award, which was released by Fifa on Tuesday.
The 25-year-old striker netted 16 goals for Manchester United last season to help Sir Alex Ferguson’s men win a record 19th Premier League title.
Rooney is one of only four players – along with Manchester City’s Sergio AgÃ¼ero, United’s Nani and Liverpool’s Luis SuÃ¡rez – in the running for the 2011 price who currently ply their trade in the Premier League.
The shortlist is dominated by European and Spanish champions Barcelona, who lead the way with eight nominees including Lionel Messi, winner for the last two years, while La Liga rivals Real Madrid boast five names.
Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola has again been nominated in the coach of the year category, along with Chelsea manager André Villas-Boas and Arsenal’s Arsène Wenger.
Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is also on the list, as is José Mourinho of Real Madrid, who won the award last year.
The three players and coaches shortlisted for the final awards will be announced on 5 December before the glitzy award ceremony in Zurich on 9 January.
Ballon d’Or 2011 – Player nominees
Eric Abidal (France), Sergio AgÃ¼ero (Argentina), Karim Benzema (France), Iker Casillas (Spain), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Dani Alves (Brazil), Samuel Eto’o (Cameroon), Cesc FÃ¡bregas (Spain), Diego ForlÃ¡n (Uruguay), Andrés Iniesta (Spain), Lionel Messi (Argentina), Thomas MÃ¼ller (Germany), Nani (Portugal), Neymar (Brazil), Mesut Ozil (Germany), Gerard Piqué (Spain), Wayne Rooney (England), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany), Wesley Sneijder (Holland), Luis SuÃ¡rez (Uruguay), David Villa (Spain), Xabi Alonso (Spain), Xavi (Spain).
Ballon d’Or 2011 – Coach nominees
Vicente del Bosque (Spain/Spain national team), Sir Alex Ferguson (Scotland/Manchester United FC), Rudi Garcia (France/Lille OSC), Pep Guardiola (Spain/FC Barcelona), JÃ¼rgen Klopp (Germany/Borussia Dortmund), Joachim LÃ¶w (Germany/Germany national team), José Mourinho (Portugal/Real Madrid), Oscar TabÃ¡rez (Uruguay/Uruguay national team), André Villas-Boas (Portugal/Porto, Chelsea), Arsène Wenger (France/Arsenal).