8 of the 23 candidates for the FIFA Balon d’Or 2011 play for Barça, the team with most names on the list. They are Abidal, Alves, Cesc, Iniesta, Messi, Piqué, Villa and Xavi. And Pep Guardiola is on the shortlist for the manager of the year.
A year after FC Barcelona had all three players on the Balon d’Or podium, the club has once
again dominated the shortlist for the 2011 edition issued by FIFA and the magazine France Football.
Leo Messi (winner of the last two editions) is joined by Andrés Iniesta, Xavi Hernández, Éric
Abidal, Dani Alves, Cesc Fàbregas, Gerard Piqué and David Villa.
The other candidates are Agüero (Manchester City); Benzema, Casillas, Cristiano
Ronaldo, Ozil and Xabi Alonso (Madrid); Eto’o (Anzhi); Forlán and Sneijder (Inter); Müller
and Schweinsteiger (Bayern); Nani and Rooney (Manchester Utd); Neymar (Santos) and Luis Suárez
Guardiola up for top coach
Like last year, when he was a finalist, Pep Guardiola is one of the nominees for the FIFA
Men's Football Coach of the Year 2011 along with Del Bosque (Spain), Ferguson (Manchester Utd),
Rudi Garcia (Lille), Klopp (Borussia Dortmund), Low (Germany), Mourinho (Madrid) Tabárez (Uruguay),
Villas-Boas (Chelsea) and Wenger (Arsenal).
Announcement January 19
Now that the candidates are known, the national captains and managers and representatives of
the world’s press chosen by France Football will be voting for the winners. The awards will
be presented on January 9, 2012 at a gala in Zurich. On December 5, FIFA and France Football will
announce the three finalists in each of the categories.