Rooney Could be First English Ballon D’Or Winner Since 2001
Wayne Rooney is the only English player shortlisted for this year’s FIFA Ballon D'Or award.
Five current Premier League players are among the nominees: Manchester City's Sergio Aguero, Mario Balotelli and Yaya Toure. Along with Manchester United’s Rooney and Robin van Persie.
Former Chelsea player Didier Drogba also made the cut.
As every Oscar hopeful is fond of saying; it’s an honour just to be nominated. Rooney and the rest will have to be satisfied with that: there are only two possible outcomes for the destination of the prize.
Lionel Messi has been listed as a 1-2 odds-on favourite to claim the prize by Ladbrokes, with Cristiano Ronaldo at 7-4.
Messi scored a record 50 La Liga goals last season; making him all but certain to win his fourth Ballon D’Or in a row.
Michael Owen was the last Englishman to win the prize in 2001.
FIFA’s official announcement:
Four days after announcing the names of the candidates for the FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year and the FIFA World Coach of the Year for Women’s Football for 2012 awards, FIFA and France Football have today revealed the names for the men’s awards.
The candidates for the FIFA Ballon d’Or and for the FIFA World Coach of the Year for Men’s Football awards have been unveiled (see below). The final decisions will be made by the captains and head coaches of the men’s national teams as well as by international media representatives selected by France Football.
The winners of all of the awards will be revealed at the FIFA Ballon d’Or gala as part of a televised show at the Zurich Kongresshaus on 7 January 2013, during which the FIFA FIFPro World XI, the FIFA Puskás Award – for the most beautiful goal of the year – the FIFA Presidential Award and the FIFA Fair Play Award will also be presented.
The list of 23 male candidates has been drawn up by football experts from the FIFA Football Committee and by a group of experts from France Football. The list of ten coaches has been drawn up by the Committee for Women’s Football and FIFA Women’s World Cup and by the FIFA Football Committee, as well as by a group of experts from France Football.
On 29 November 2012, FIFA and France Football will announce at a press conference in São Paulo (Brazil) the names of the three men and three women, as well as the three coaches for women’s football and three coaches for men’s football, who have received the most votes (without unveiling the winners). The three nominees for the FIFA Puskás Award and the FIFA FIFPro World XI shortlist for the best forwards will also be announced (the shortlists for best goalkeepers, defenders and midfielders will be unveiled on 19, 22 and 26 November, respectively).
Men’s shortlists for the FIFA Ballon d’Or gala 2012
The following 23 men (in alphabetical order) are in contention for the FIFA Ballon d’Or 2012:
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 Ibrahimovic (Sweden), Andrés Iniesta (Spain), Lionel Messi (Argentina), Manuel Neuer (Germany), Neymar (Brazil), Mesut Özil (Germany), Gerard Piqué (Spain), Andrea Pirlo (Italy),Sergio Ramos (Spain), Wayne Rooney (England), Yaya Touré (Côte d’Ivoire), Robin van Persie (Netherlands), Xavi (Spain).
The following ten coaches (in alphabetical order, first nationality and then team) are in contention for the FIFA World Coach of the Year for Men’s Football 2012:
Vicente del Bosque (Spain/Spain national team), Roberto Di Matteo (Italy/Chelsea FC), Alex Ferguson (Scotland/Manchester United FC), Pep Guardiola (Spain/FC Barcelona former coach), Jupp Heynckes (Germany/FC Bayern München), Jürgen Klopp (Germany/Borussia Dortmund), Joachim Löw (Germany/Germany national team), Roberto Mancini (Italy/Manchester City FC), José Mourinho (Portugal/Real Madrid CF), Cesare Prandelli (Italy/Italy national team).
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