List of candidates announced for Golden Ball, 10 from Barcelona and 5 Madridista get the nod
The final list of 50 professional players vying for the Golden Ball has been announced. Ten Barcelona players have been given the nod, while five Real Madrid players have also been chosen.
Barcelona have the highest representation in the final list of players aspiring to receive the precious prize.
Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta, Xavi Hernandez, Cesc Fabregas, Gerard Pique, Carles Puyol, David Villa, Dani Alves, Eric Abidal, and Alexis Sanchez are the Catalan players with the opportunity to take the trophy.
The name of Sanchez has not been listed as a member of FC Barcelona in the list due to technical reasons. Chilean international was included in the list due to his excellent year with Udinese Calcio and Chile by the committee.
Barcelona’s arc enemies, Real Madrid have five players parading their flag. Iker Casillas, Xabi Alonso, Cristiano Ronaldo, Ozil and Khedira have been selected for the final draws.
Spanish attacker, David Silva also makes the cut following his exceptional performances for Manchester City and La Furia Roja.
The players completing the list are: Bastian Schweinsteiger, Philipp Lahm, Mario Gomez, Thomas Müller, Franck Ribery, Miroslav Klose, Wesley Sneijder, Robin Van Persie, Arjen Robben, Rafael Van der Vaart, Samuel Eto'o, Sergio Kun Aguero, Luis Suarez, Diego
Forlan, Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez, Wayne Rooney, Antonio di Natale and Neymar.
Voting has started on the final list of 23 applicants. The members of the Football Committee will announce the list on November 1 after the balloting.
The three finalists vying for the ultimate prize will be announced after a gap of one month on December 5. Subsequently, the winner will be announced on January 9, 2012 in the traditional Gala organized by FIFA, in Zurich.
A lot of buzz has been generated by the event as the best player on the planet is proclaimed.
Brazilian prodigy, Neymar is making noises in the media of giving Lionel Messi a run for his money, while Cristiano Ronaldo continues to chase the diminutive Argentine.
Messi has been proclaimed by many as the rightful heir of Diego Maradona in world football. The Barcelona player is poised to win the award for the third time in succession.