by Ifreke Inyang
There are only four English Premiership players on the shortlist for the World Footballer of the Year released by FIFA today. The list of the best footballing talents that have been nominated for the Ballon d’Or is dominated by Barcelona who has eight players in the running.
Wayne Rooney and his team mate at Manchester United, Luis Nani; Luis Suarez who plays for Liverpool; and Sergio Aguero from Manchester City are the EPL representatives. Barcelona’s contingent is led by Argentine magician, Lionel Messi, who has won the award successively in the last two seasons. His fierce rival, Cristiano Ronaldo is on the list alongside four other Real Madrid players. The shortlist will be reduced to three names for each category on 5 December.
Three EPL coaches including Arsenal’s Arsene Wenger, Sir Alex Ferguson of Manchester United and Chelsea’s Andre Villas-Boas made it into the managerial list. A decision will be made on 9 January.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR SHORTLIST
Eric Abidal (France), Sergio Aguero (Argentina), Karim Benzema (France), Iker Casillas (Spain), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Dani Alves (Brazil), Samuel Eto’o (Cameroon), Cesc Fabregas (Spain), Diego Forlan (Uruguay), Andres Iniesta (Spain), Lionel Messi (Argentina), Thomas Muller (Germany), Nani (Portugal), Neymar (Brazil), Mesut Ozil (Germany), Gerard Pique (Spain), Wayne Rooney (England), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany), Wesley Sneijder (Holland), Luis Suarez (Uruguay), David Villa (Spain), Xabi Alonso (Spain), Xavi (Spain).
MANAGER OF THE YEAR SHORTLIST
Vicente Del Bosque (Spain), Alex Ferguson (Manchester United), Rudi Garcia (Lille), Pep Guardiola (Barcelona), Jurgen Klopp (Borussia Dortmund), Joachim Low (Germany), Jose Mourinho (Real Madrid), Oscar Tabarez (Uruguay), Andre Villas-Boas (Chelsea), Arsene Wenger (Arsenal)