Lionel Messi, Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta nominated for Ballon d’ Or
The ‘Barca Trio’: Lionel Messi, Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta are all nominated for the FIFA Ballon d’ Or. Midfielders Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta enjoyed this season winningly at both the international and domestic level.
For Iniesta, it was scoring a goal in the 2010 World Cup final thereby leading Spain to their glorious trophy. Xavi on the other hand played extremely well in the Primera division for FC Barcelona. Messi scored 34 goals in the Barcelona La Liga, while he already
has 15 to his name this season. The only stain could be a goal – less World Cup 2010 for Argentina, when they lost to Germany in the bitter quarter final. Regardless of this World Cup defeat, Lionel Messi is considered to be the favorite for the award, to
be decided in Zurich on 10th of January, 2011.
The Ballon d’Or, formerly known as the European Footballer of the Year , is an annual award bestowed upon any player for his thriving calendar year. The award was envisioned by French magazine editor Gabriel Hanot, who used to
ask his colleagues to vote for the best player of the year. This started in Europe in 1956 and the first player who won this award was Stanley Matthews of Blackpool. In the beginning, journalists could only vote for their favorite European players that ruled
out the chances legendary players such as Diego Maradona and Pele.
In 1995, some changes were made in the rules to allow non – European players to be eligible for the award
if they played for any European football club. The rules were altered again in 2007 where it was decided that the award would be given to any player of any nationality regardless of which football club they were playing for. In the same year, the number
of voting journalists was also increased to 96. Germans and Dutch players have won the award the most times, whereas Italian clubs Milan and Juventus have had the most winners playing for them. In 2010, the FIFA Player of the Year award was merged with Ballon
d’Or thereby naming it the FIFA Ballon d’ Or. This award will be awarded to the best player of the year and the current expectant is Lionel Messi of Argentina, who, if successful, will be the third Argentinean to win this award.