FC Barcelona has five players in consideration for the 2012 FIFA Ballon d’Or. This Monday at noon, the list of 23 players up for the award was announced, which includes Barça players Leo Messi, Xavi Hernández, Andrés Iniesta, Gerard Piqué, and Sergio Busquets. It’s worth noting that all five candidates were formed in La Masia, the club’s youth system. The winner will be announced on January 7th, in a gala held in Zurich, Switzerland. Before the ceremony, on November 29th, the names of the three finalists will be made public.
Leo Messi, Andrés Iniesta, Xavi Hernández and Gerard Piqué have all appeared on the 23 man list before, but this is the first year that midfielder Sergio Busquets has also been included.
For the last three years in a row, the award has gone to Leo Messi, and last year Xavi Hernández came in third. In 2010, the final three were all blaugrana (Messi, Xavi, and Iniesta).
The complete 23 player list is as follows: Sergio Agüero, Xabi Alonso, Mario Balotelli, Karim Benzema, Gianluigi Buffon, Sergio Busquets, Iker Casillas, Cristiano Ronaldo, Didier Drogba, Radamel Falcao, Zlatan Ibrahimović, Andrés Iniesta, Lionel Messi, Manuel Neuer, Neymar, Mesut Özil, Gerard Piqué, Andrea Pirlo, Sergio Ramos, Wayne Rooney, Yaya Touré, Robin van Persie, Xavi.
As for the FIFA World Coach of the Year for Men’s Football in 2012, former Barcelona coach Josep Guardiola makes the list of 10 candidates: Vicente del Bosque (Spain national team), Roberto Di Matteo (Chelsea FC), Alex Ferguson (Manchester United FC), Pep Guardiola (FC Barcelona former coach), Jupp Heynckes (FC Bayern München), Jürgen Klopp (Borussia Dortmund), Joachim Löw (Germany national team), Roberto Mancini (Manchester City FC), José Mourinho (Real Madrid CF), Cesare Prandelli (Italy national team).