FIFA have announced their 23-man shortlist for the 2012 Ballon D’Or.
As expected, the Spanish national team and La Liga almost completely dominate.
FIFA will whittle down this shortlist to just three names at the end of November and the winner will be announced on January 7, 2013 at a Gala event in Zurich.
The list below will be voted on by 209 coaches and captains of national teams across the globe and by 49 journalists from the French magazine France Football that originally created the Ballon d’Or.
Will Lionel Messi win it for a fourth time? Will Cristiano Ronaldo be sad if he fails to secure the prize? Which one of the Spanish national team deserves it the most: Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Iker Casillas, Xabi Alonso or Sergio Ramos?
Or should it go to an outsider like Radamel Falcao, Andrea Pirlo or Neymar?
And what about the players that didn’t make it, such as Vincent Kompany and Petr Cech? Or, were there others?
Have your say in the poll and comments below.
As for the breakdown of the list, France Football point out that Real Madrid and Barcelona are the most represented of the clubs with six and 5 players respectively.
Champions of Europe Chelsea have one player included, Didier Drogba, who is no longer at the club. And only 12 of the players included last year made it to this season’s list.
Sergio Aguero (Argentina, Manchester City)
Mario Balotelli (Italy, Manchester City)
Karim Benzema (France, Real Madrid)
Gianluigi Buffon (Italy, Juventus)
Sergio Busquets (Spain, FC Barcelona)
Iker Casillas (Spain, Real Madrid)
Didier Drogba (Ivory Coast, Chelsea and Shanghai Shenhua)
Radamel Falcao (Colombia Atletico Madrid)
Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden AC Milan, and Paris-SG)
Andrés Iniesta (Spain, FC Barcelona)
Lionel Messi (Argentina FC Barcelona)
Manuel Neuer (Germany, Bayern Munich)
Neymar (Brazil, Santos)
Mesut Özil (Germany, Real Madrid)
Gerard Piqué (Spain FC Barcelona)
Andrea Pirlo (Italy, Juventus)
Sergio Ramos (Spain, Real Madrid)
Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal Real Madrid)
Wayne Rooney (England, Manchester United)
Yaya Toure (Ivory Coast Manchester City)
Robin van Persie (Holland, Arsenal and Manchester United)
Xabi Alonso (Spain Real Madrid)
Xavi Hernandez (Spain, FC Barcelona)