Please join us for a special chat session during the FIFA Ballon d’Or press conference and gala. Comment on what’s happening, share links, have your say about the statements from the players and later the winners for all the various categories, etc.
The press conference with the three nominees for the Ballon d’Or will begin around 15:00 CET (convert to your local time).
The gala and awards ceremony starts at 19:00 CET (convert to your local time).
On Monday 7th January 2013, the winner of the FIFA Ballon d’Or 2012 will be announced at the FIFA Ballon d’Or gala.
In addition to the FIFA Ballon d’Or, a number of other awards will also be presented, including the Women’s World Player of the Year, the FIFA World Coach of the Year for Men’s and Women’s Football, FIFPro World XI, the FIFA Puskás Award, the FIFA Presidential Award, and the FIFA Fair Play Award.
Leo Messi and Andrés Iniesta are two of the three finalists for the FIFA Ballon d’Or 2012, as announced by FIFA this Thursday at midday. The two blaugrana players, along with Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo, will be vying for the title of best player of the year, which will be awarded on Monday, January 7th, at a ceremony held in Zurich, Switzerland. Former coach Pep Guardiola is also among the final three contenders for coach of the year, along with Vicente del Bosque and Jose Mourinho.
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.
Last night before the game against Real Betis, Lionel Messi came on to the Camp Nou pitch with the FIFA Ballon d’Or trophy he won for the third consecutive time in Zurich last Monday. Thereafter, the team presented their FIFA Club World Cup trophy, won in Japan in December 2011. Captain Carles Puyol brought the trophy, which was decorated with the Senyera (flag of Catalonia). Members of the team also showed support for Andreu Fontàs, who suffered a serious injury in the last Copa del Rey game, by wearing t-shirts with “Força i Ànims Andreu“ (“Stay strong and we support you Andreu”). Injured players David Villa, Pedro Rodriguez, Ibrahim Afellay, Andreu Fontàs, along with B team player Martín Montoya (dropped from the squad before the match) were present in the stands to share this joyous moment with the whole team and fans at Camp Nou. Click continue reading to find more pictures.
El Mundo Deportivo reported about the interview that Leo Messi, hailed as the best player in the world for third time in a row, gave to France Football. The original can be found here. It said that Leo opened his house’s door to France Football and showed them his impressive collection of trophies. In a chat with Vincent Machenaud, Messi said that what motivates him most when he has the ball in his feet is ”victory”. The Argentinian genius stated the reasons for his extraordinary and prolonged performance. “I can say I’m obsessed with victory,” said Messi. This is a clear statement of intent from a player like Messi, just four days from yet another visit to the Santiago Bernabeu, a place that starts trembling just by hearing his name.
Sportswear brand Adidas is in the mood to celebrate the third straight FIFA Ballon d’Or victory of Lionel Messi, one of its biggest clients, in a grand golden way. Adidas created a special gold pair of adizero F50 boots, which the FC Barcelona striker will wear for the first time on Sunday in the match against Real Betis at Camp Nou. The boots have three stripes which mention the years (2009, 2010, 2011) in which Messi won the award, along with his new personal logo and the words “FIFA Ballon d’Or Player of the Year” and “gracias a todos”, “thanks to all”. Let’s hope that they do wonders not just at Camp Nou but even at Bernabeu on Wednesday.
What do you think: eyesore or eye candy? Tell us in the comments.
Lionel Messi gave a short and sweet interview to fifa.com summing up his thoughts after he was crowned the FIFA Ballon d’Or winner third time in a row. Dressed in burgundy velvet jacket that would be the envy of Hugh Hefner, the Argentinian was expectedly all smiles as he held the trophy. You can read the complete interview here.
Excerpts from the interview after the jump.
The Ballon d’Or gala today left us with some unforgettable memories, especially for culés who understand the value of companionship and loyalty. Lionel Messi, in a speech to remember, dedicated his award to his team mates at Barça and Argentina, and most of all, to his friend Xavi, who, as Lio said, rightfully deserved the award too. Here you can find Leo’s acceptance speech, with English subtitles (please press “cc” to see subtitles). The original video is from FC Barcelona.
At this evening’s 2011 FIFA Ballon d’Or gala in Zurich, Switzerland, FC Barcelona forward Lionel Messi (24) and head coach Pep Guardiola were named the Best Player and Best Coach of the year. This is Guardiola’s first time receiving the coveted award, but Messi’s third consecutive win, setting him among the ranks of historical footballing greats like Johan Cruyff, Michel Platini, and Marco van Basten.
Join us for a special chat session during the FIFA Ballon d’Or gala. Comment on what’s happening, share links, have your say about the winners for all the various categories, etc.
The ceremony starts at 19:00 CET (convert to your local time).
Chat during the ceremony:
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The gala will be streaming live on FIFA’s website for viewers in certain countries. Check the comments section and the chat for other links.
Today in Zurich, Switzerland, FC Barcelona head coach Pep Guardiola and players Lionel Messi (24) and Xavi Hernández (31) spoke at a press conference before the FIFA Ballon d’Or gala tonight. The Best Coach and Best Player of the Year nominees answered questions from journalists around the world on a wide variety of topics. Fellow Best Coach nominee Sir Alex Ferguson of Manchester United was also present, but Real Madrid CF coach José Mourinho and player Cristiano Ronaldo (26) were absent due to the club’s Copa del Rey game against Málaga tomorrow.
“Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are truly exceptional players. But it all depends on how you view the game. The way I look at it, Xavi deserves it not because he’s the best, but because he’s the type of player whose hard work allows others to come to the fore.”
Barca legend Johan Cruyff explains why the FIFA Ballon d’Or should go to the Catalan club’s majestic midfielder, Xavi.
“There’s no doubt for me, Messi is clearly the best player in the world. He’s a veritable phenomenon who has won everything but still wants more. His humility only makes him better in my eyes. I think he can become even more influential – he’s a born leader and should make his mark just like Diego Maradona did. I don’t mean just with Barcelona, but with Argentina too. He should win the Ballon d’Or award again. Not just for his skills, but for the Liga, Champions League and Spanish Super Cup medals he earned this year. He’s been a key figure for his team all season.”
Former Dutch international and Ajax and Milan player Marco van Basten tells fifa.com why he thinks Lionel Messi deserves the FIFA Ballon d’Or award.
”I hope Xavi wins the Ballon d’Or. As a Spaniard, I have to support Xavi! He’s had an incredible career and completely deserves it, even if the other two are also extraordinary players.”
Spain’s tennis star Rafael Nadal may be a Real Madrid fan but when it comes to the FIFA Ballon d’or he rather see his compatriot Xavi win it.
The headquarters of France Football magazine in Paris acted as the venue for the announcement of the finalists for the FIFA Ballon d’Or Player of the Year and other awards. Unlike last year, when it was an all Barca affair, this time around two Barca players will be in contention for the title. Of the eight Barca players that were in the 23-man shortlist, FC Barcelona striker Lionel Messi as expected was one of the three nominees along with Barca midfielder Xavi Hernandez. Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo filled the third spot. The Argentine is a strong favourite to win the award for the third time running and thereby become the youngest player to win the award thrice. FC Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola will face Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho and veteran Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson for the honour for FIFA Men’s Football Coach of the Year. The winners will be declared on 9 January 2012 at the FIFA Ballon d’Or Gala in Zurich.
In a special eight part series, totalBarça will feature each of the FC Barcelona nominees from the 23-man shortlist for the 2011 FIFA Ballon d’Or. From November 12th through December 2nd, a different contributor will present a nominee and argue for why he should win this year’s prestigious award before the announcement of the final three contenders on December 5th. To kick off the series, Roberto Curtis highlights the team’s newest and most sought after addition, Cesc Fàbregas.
The prodigal son. The unproven featherweight. The Fabergé Egg. Sleepy head. The Catalan youth product mostly known simply as Cesc has endeared himself to the Barcelona faithful while souring in the minds of gooners around the world. But in what must be viewed as a move to promote his own growth, Francesc Fàbregas has evolved into the epitome of football wizardry and attacking prowess.
The official 23-man shortlist for the 2011 FIFA Ballon d’Or was confirmed today by FIFA and France Football magazine. In all, eight FC Barcelona players were nominated, the most of any team. Apart from the players, FC Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola will again be in contention for the title of FIFA World Coach of the Year award.
Denis Chaumier, Editor-in-Chief of France Football, was at the Ciutat Esportiva on Wednesday to present the Book of the 50 Years of the Ballon D’Or to the top three players in last year’s awards – Iniesta, Xavi and Messi.
That is when he declared himself to be a Barca fan and said, “even though Zidane is with Madrid, I’d be lying if I didn’t say most French hearts are with Barça”.
Original article can be found @ elpais.com on 11 January 2011.
‘The best in the world is Messi, no comparison’
By: Luis Martin
The two were still children when they enrolled at La Masia and were mere teenagers at their Barcelona first team debut, but Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta fought for a dream and fully achieved it. With FC Barcelona they have won everything a top footballer can win, and with Spain’s national team, have joined the ranks of a few elite players to have won the World Cup – and something else: the respect of their peers, both professionals and amateurs.
Leo Messi has won the Ballon d’Or this Monday in spite of not securing the votes of several significant team captains: Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Samuel Eto’o (Cameroon) and Iker Casillas (Spain), who were all granted votes to choose the winner (five points to their first choice, three for the second and one for the third) of the best player in 2010 – the year in which the “France Football Balon d’Or” merged with the “FIFA World Player of the Year”.
On their flight back to Barcelona, Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta, Gerard Pique, Carles Puyol and David Villa all celebrated Lionel Messi’s FIFA Ballon d’Or triumph, showing the strong fellowship that exists between the FC Barcelona players. Messi raised a toast and once again reiterated how Xavi and Andres deserved the award too.
FC Barcelona striker Lionel Messi, like many, didn’t see it coming. But football apart from being a beautiful game is also a numbers game. And when it came to the overall tally, Messi, more popular among his peers, was the victor. He also become the youngest player to win the award twice. The boyish charm of Messi was there to see again. As soon as manager Pep Guardiola announced his name, the smile and tongue came out in shy modesty and he leaned on the mike stand rather than stand erect to thank his teammates. After the ceremony, with Guardiola offering to take home the “heavy” trophy for him, Messi sat down for an interview with fifa.com.
All along it looked like that it was going to be the turn of a Spanish player to win the award for the first time since Luis Suarez won it. But that wasn’t meant to be as Argentinian striker Lionel Messi walked away with the FIFA Ballon d’Or, thereby retaining the two prizes that he won last year. “Thanks so much for this applause,” said Messi. “To be honest, I didn’t expect to win today, but it was already great to be here next to my two mates. To win it makes it even more special. I want to share with all of my mates, my family, all the Barcelonistas and the Argentinians.” Messi’s scintillating performances for FC Barcelona were too hard to ignore for selected journalists, and football coaches and captains of national teams, all of whom voted for the prize. FIFA rightfully brought Barca manager Pep Guardiola to announce the winner and present the trophy, making it a cherished moment for Cules all over.