Wayne Rooney nominated for 2012 Ballon d'Or award


Wayne Rooney is the only British player to be named on Fifa's 23-man Ballon d'Or shortlist for 2012's best player in the world. Rooney's Manchester United team-mate Robin van Persie is also on the list, alongside Manchester City's Sergio Aguero, Yaya Toure and Mario Balotelli. 2011 winner, Barcelona's Lionel Messi, is also on the list and is the favourite to retain the crown. Premier League managers Roberto Mancini, Sir Alex Ferguson and Roberto Di Matteo are on the Coach of the Year shortlist. The winners will be announced at a ceremony in Zurich, Switzerland, on 7 January 2013. The winners will be selected by the captains and head coaches of the men's national teams as well as by international media representatives selected by France Football magazine.

Wayne Rooney, aged 27, scored 19 goals in 2012 for Manchester United, along with four goals for England, including one at Euro 2012 against Ukraine. Striker Didier Drogba, who scored the winning penalty in Chelsea's Champions League final shoot-out win over Bayern Munich, is also in contention for the Ballon d'Or.

Real Madrid have six nominees, including Cristiano Ronaldo and Xabi Alonso, while Jose Mourinho is named on the coach list. The shortlist will be narrowed down to three names for each category on 29 November.

Here are the player nominees:

Sergio Aguero (Manchester City/Argentina)
Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid/Spain)
Mario Balotelli (Manchester City/Italy)
Karim Benzema (Real Madrid/France)
Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus/Italy)
Sergio Busquets (Barcelona/Spain)
Iker Casillas (Real Madrid/Spain)
Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid/Portugal)
Didier Drogba (Shanghai Shenhua/Ivory Coast)
Radamel Falcao (Atletico Madrid/Colombia)
Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Paris St Germain/Sweden)
Andres Iniesta (Barcelona/Spain)
Lionel Messi (Barcelona/Argentina)
Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich/Germany)
Neymar (Santos/Brazil)
Mesut Ozil (Real Madrid/Germany)
Gerard Pique (Barcelona/Spain)
Andrea Pirlo (Juventus/Italy)
Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid/Spain)
Wayne Rooney (Manchester United/England)
Yaya Toure (Manchester City/Ivory Coast)
Robin van Persie (Manchester United/Netherlands)
Xavi (Barcelona/Spain)


And the coach nominees are:

Vicente del Bosque (Spain/Spain national team)
Roberto Di Matteo (Italy/Chelsea)
Alex Ferguson (Scotland/Manchester United)
Pep Guardiola (Spain/Barcelona)
Jupp Heynckes (Germany/Bayern Munich)
Juergen Klopp (Germany/Borussia Dortmund)
Joachim Loew (Germany/Germany national team)
Roberto Mancini (Italy/Manchester City)
Jose Mourinho (Portugal/Real Madrid)
Cesare Prandelli (Italy/Italy national team)


Bet365 have Lionel Messi as favourite for the award, priced at 8/11, while Andres Iniesta is priced at 10/3 and Cristiano Ronaldo at 4/1.

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