Skip to main content

Barcelona trio battling to be named world's best footballer

Xavi (left), Andres Iniesta (center) and Lionel Messi (left) have been key figures in Barca's recent success.
Xavi (left), Andres Iniesta (center) and Lionel Messi (left) have been key figures in Barca's recent success.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi have been shortlisted for world's best player award
  • The Barcelona trio were all key performers in their club's La Liga success last season
  • Messi won the FIFA award for 2009 but faces competition from World Cup winners
  • Josep Guardiola, Jose Mourinho and Vicente del Bosque are up for coach of the year
RELATED TOPICS

(CNN) -- Barcelona trio Andres Iniesta, Xavi and Lionel Messi have been shortlisted for the 2010 FIFA Ballon d'Or, the award given to the world's best footballer.

Spain duo Iniesta and Xavi were included on Monday after helping their country to a first World Cup triumph in South Africa in July, when the former scored the only goal in the final against the Netherlands.

Their clubmate Messi -- who was named the world's best player in 2009 -- scored 35 goals in 34 La Liga appearances as the Catalans won the 2009-10 Spanish title.

The 23-year-old has started this campaign in equally stunning fashion with 15 goals in 12 league matches, although he endured a disappointing World Cup as Argentina lost 4-0 in the quarterfinals to Germany.

Blog: Who is the world's best footballer?

There was more good news for Barca with the announcement that Josep Guardiola was shortlisted for the coach of the year award.

He is joined on the three-man list by Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho, who guided Italy's Inter Milan to a Champions League, Serie A and Coppa Italia treble last season.

The final contender is Vicente Del Bosque, the former Real Madrid coach who oversaw Spain's maiden World Cup triumph.

The FIFA Ballon d'Or is a combination of two previous honors, the FIFA World Player of the Year and the France Football Ballon d'Or trophy, and it will be awarded for the first time this year.

Barcelona shrug off travel chaos to stay top

The winners of the two awards will be named during a ceremony on January 10 in Zurich, Switzerland.

In the women's player awards, Germany's Fatmire Bajramaj and Birgit Prinz are up against Brazil's four-time winner Marta.

Germany coach Silvia Neid faces competition from national under-20 counterpart Maren Meinert and Swede Pia Sundhage, who is in charge of the United States' senior side.