Sport Soccer

Monday 23 April 2018

Spain lead the way

Seven members of Spain's World Cup-winning squad have been shortlisted for the prestigious FIFA Ballon d'Or award.

Andres Iniesta, who netted the winning goal in the final against Holland in July, is among the contenders along with his Barcelona team-mates Xavi, Carles Puyol and David Villa.

Spain captain Iker Casillas and his Real Madrid colleague Xabi Alonso also make the shortlist, along with Arsenal skipper Cesc Fabregas.

Fabregas is one of three Premier League players on the 23-man list of nominees. The others are Chelsea's Ivory Coast striker Didier Drogba and Sunderland's Ghana frontman Asamoah Gyan. Leo Messi -- the reigning Ballon d'Or holder and FIFA World Player of the Year -- is nominated again.

World Player of the Year nominees

Alonso (Spain), Alves (Brazil), Casillas (Spain), Ronaldo (Portugal), Drogba (Ivory Coast), Eto'o (Cameroon), Fabregas (Spain), Forlan (Uruguay), Gyan (Ghana), Iniesta (Spain), Cesar (Brazil), Klose (Germany), Lahm (Germany), Maicon (Brazil), Messi (Argentina), Muller (Germany), Ozil (Germany), Puyol (Spain), Robben (Holland), Schweinsteiger (Germany), Sneijder (Holland), Villa (Spain), Xavi (Spain).

World Coach of the Year nominees

Carlo Ancelotti (Chelsea), Vicente del Bosque (Spain), Alex Ferguson (Manchester United), Pep Guardiola (FC Barcelona), Joachim Loew (Germany), Jose Mourinho (Inter Milan/Real Madrid), Oscar Tabarez (Uruguay), Louis Van Gaal (Bayern Munich), Bert van Marwijk (Holland), Arsene Wenger (Arsenal).

Irish Independent

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