Ballon d’Or 2012: Man United’s Rooney is only Englishman on shortlist
Ballon d'Or 2012: Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney is the only Englishman shortlisted for this year's award
Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney is the only Englishman on the 23-man shortlist for the 2012 Ballon d’Or.
The England international is one of five Premier League stars nominated for the prestigious world player of the year award, joining Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero, Mario Balotelli, Yaya Toure and United team-mate Robin van Persie.
The 2012 shortlist is dominated by Real Madrid and Barcelona players, with no less than 11 representatives of the La Liga giants making the cut.
The 23-man list will be whittled down to just three nominees at a news conference on 29 November ahead of the Ballon d’Or gala in Zurich on 7 January, when the winner will be announced.
The list of 23 candidates was drawn up by Fifa’s Football Committee and a group of experts from France Football.
Barcelona’s Lionel Messi has won the award for the last three seasons and is joined on this year’s shortlist by club team-mates Sergio Busquets, Andres Iniesta, Gerard Pique and Xavi.
Meanwhile, the 10-man shortlist for the Fifa World Coach of the Year for 2012 has also been revealed.
Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo is joined by fellow Premier League representatives Sir Alex Ferguson of Manchester United and Manchester City’s Roberto Mancini.
Also on the list is Spain coach Vicente del Bosque, who guided La Roja to the defence of their European championship crown in Poland and Ukraine this summer.
Jose Mourinho is also in the running after his Real Madrid side wrestled last season’s La Liga title from Barcelona’s grasp.
Ballon d’Or 2012: The shortlist
Sergio Agüero (Argentina), Xabi Alonso (Spain), Mario Balotelli (Italy), Karim Benzema (France), Gianluigi Buffon (Italy), Sergio Busquets (Spain), Iker Casillas (Spain), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Didier Drogba (Côte d’Ivoire), Radamel Falcao (Colombia), Zlatan Ibrahimović (Sweden), Andres Iniesta (Spain), Lionel Messi (Argentina), Manuel Neuer (Germany), Neymar (Brazil), Mesut Özil (Germany), Gerard Pique (Spain), Andrea Pirlo (Italy), Sergio Ramos (Spain), Wayne Rooney (England), Yaya Toure (Côte d’Ivoire), Robin van Persie (Netherlands), Xavi (Spain).
Fifa World Coach of the Year 2012: The shortlist
Vicente del Bosque (Spain/Spain national team), Roberto Di Matteo (Italy/Chelsea), Sir Alex Ferguson (Scotland/Manchester United), Pep Guardiola (Spain/Barcelona former coach),
Jupp Heynckes (Germany/Bayern München), Jürgen Klopp (Germany/Borussia Dortmund), Joachim Löw (Germany/Germany national team), Roberto Mancini (Italy/Manchester City), Jose Mourinho (Portugal/Real Madrid), Cesare Prandelli (Italy/Italy national team).
Ballon d’Or: Last 10 winners
2011 – Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
2010 – Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
2009 – Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
2008 – Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)
2007 – Kaka (AC Milan)
2006 – Fabio Cannavaro (Real Madrid)
2005 – Ronaldinho (Barcelona)
2004 – Andriy Shevchenko (AC Milan)
2003 – Pavel Nedved (Juventus)
2002 – Ronaldo (Real Madrid)