PARIS, October 26 – World governing body FIFA on Tuesday released a short-list of 23 players who will contest the inaugural 2010 FIFA Ballon d'Or with seven members of Spain's victorious World Cup winning squad included.
Next after that came Germany with five players in the running for the world player of the year award, while four players from European Champions League winners Inter Milan are listed.
Last year the trophy went to Barcelona’s Argentinian striker Lionel Messi and he is again in the hunt for this year’s award.
The revamped award is a combination of the FIFA World Player of the Year award and the France Football Ballon d’Or trophy which have been run separately until now.
The winner will be revealed at the first FIFA Ballon d’Or gala in Zurich on January 10.
The FIFA short-list for the 2010 Ballon d’Or:
Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid/ESP), Daniel Alves (Barcelona/BRA), Iker Casillas (Real Madrid/ESP), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid/POR), Didier Drogba (Chelsea/CIV), Samuel Eto’o (Inter Milan/CMR), Cesc Fabregas (Arsenal/ESP), Diego Forlán (Atletico Madrid/URU), Asamoah Gyan (Sunderland/GHA), Andrés Iniesta (Barcelona/ESP), Júlio César (Inter Milan/BRA), Miroslav Klose (Bayern Munich/GER), Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich/GER), Maicon (Inter Milan/BRA), Lionel Messi (Barcelona/ARG), Thomas Müller (Bayern Munich/GER), Mesut Özil (Real Madrid/GER), Carles Puyol (Barcelona/ESP), Arjen Robben (Bayern Munich/NED), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich/GER), Wesley Sneijder (Inter Milan/NED), David Villa (Barcelona/ESP), Xavi (Barcelona/ESP).
Carlo Ancelotti (Chelsea/ITA), Vicente del Bosque (Spain/ESP), Alex Ferguson (Manchester United/SCO), Pep Guardiola (Barcelona/ESP), Joachim Loew (Germany/GER), Jose Mourinho (Inter Milan/Real Madrid/POR), Oscar Tabárez (Uruguay/URU), Louis Van Gaal (Bayern Munich/NED), Bert Van Marwijk (Netherlands/NED), Arsène Wenger (Arsenal/FRA)