FIFA Ballon d'Or: Nominees for the awards released

The the list of candidates of the second edition of the FIFA Ballon d'Or awards were released earlier today. For the award FIFA had joined hands with France Football last year after the Ballon d'Or award was earlier handed our by the French magazine, while FIFA had their own World Player of the Year award. Now these two have been merged into one and the FIFA Ballon d'Or awards will be handed out on January 9, 2012 in Zurich.

Argentinian Lionel Messi, the winner in the last couple of editions, leads the list of 23 players named as candidates which also contains seven of his Barcelona team mates with rivals Real Madrid having five players amongst the contenders from around the globe.

National coaches and captains from around the world plus selected journalists can vote for their top candidates. The top three in each category would be announced at a press conference in Paris on December 5 ahead of the awards a month later in Zurich.

The following 23 men (in alphabetical order) are in contention for the FIFA Ballon d'Or 2011

Éric Abidal (France/FC Barcelona), Sergio Agüero (Argentina/Atletico Madrid-Manchester City), Karim Benzema (France/Real Madrid), Iker Casillas (Spain/Real Madrid), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal/Real Madrid), Daniel Alves (Brazil/FC Barcelona), Samuel Eto'o (Cameroon/Internationale Milan-Anzhi Makhachkala), Cesc Fabregas (Spain/FC Arsenal-FC Barcelina), Diego Forlan (Uruguay/Atletico Madrid-Internationale Milan), Andres Iniesta (Spain/FC Barcelona), Lionel Messi (Argentina/FC Barcelona), Thomas Muller (Germany/FC Bayern Munich), Nani (Portugal/Manchester United), Neymar (Brazil/FC Santos), Mesut Özil (Germany/Real Madrid), Gerard Piqué (Spain/FC Barcelona), Wayne Rooney (England/Manchester United), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany/FC Bayern Munich), Wesley Sneijder (Holland/Internationale Milan), Luis Suárez (Uruguay/FC Liverpool), David Villa (Spain/FC Barcelona), Xabi Alonso (Spain/Real Madrid), Xavi Hernandez (Spain/FC Barcelona)

The following ten coaches (in alphabetical order) are in contention for the FIFA World Coach of the Year for Men's Football 2011

Vicente Del Bosque (Spain), Alex Ferguson (Scotland/Manchester United), Rudi Garcia (France/Lille OSC), Pep Guardiola (Spain/FC Barcelona), Jürgen Klopp (Germany/Borussia Dortmund), Joachim Löw (Germany), José Mourinho (Portugal/Real Madrid), Óscar Tabárez (Uruguay), André Villas-Boas (Portugal/FC Porto-Chelsea FC), Arsène Wenger (France/Arsenal FC)

The following ten women (in alphabetical order) are in contention for the title of FIFA Women's World Player 2011

Sonia Bompastor (France), Kerstin Garefrekes (Germany), Marta (Brazil), Aya Miyama (Japan), Alex Morgan (USA), Louisa Necib (France), Homare Sawa (Japan), Lotta Schelin (Sweden), Hope Solo (USA), Abby Wambach (USA)

The following ten coaches (in alphabetical order) are in contention for the FIFA World Coach of the Year for Women's Football 2011

Bruno Bini (France), Leonardo Cuellar (Mexico), Thomas Dennerby (Sweden), Patrice Lair (France/Olympique Lyonnais), Maren Meinert (Germany Under-19), Hope Powell (England), Norio Sasaki (Japan), Tom Sermanni (Scotland/Australia), Pia Sundhage (Sweden/Team USA), Jorge Vilda (Spain/Spain Under-17)

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