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FIFA reveals “short list” for Player of the Year

Oct 29, 2012, 2:41 PM EDT

Lionel Messi

FIFA calls this a 23-man shortlist for world player of the year, a.k.a. the FIFA Ballon d’Or. Since you probably struggle to pronounce that as much as I do, let’s just agree to call it FIFA Player of the Year.

And since we’re picking nits here, 23 is not such a short list. But details, details.

The big list is here, with about 100 words for each on why he deserves to be FIFA Player of the Year.

We’ve simplified it here (players listed in alphabetical order):

  • Sergio Agüero (Argentina)
  • Xavi Alonso (Spain)
  • Mario Balotelli (Italy)
  • Karim Benzema (France)
  • Gianluigi Buffon (Italy)
  • Sergio Busquets (Spain)
  • Iker Casillas (Spain)
  • Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)
  • Didier Drogba (Ivory Coast)
  • Ramadel Falcao (Colombia)
  • Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden)
  • Andrés Iniesta (Spain)
  • Lionel Messi (Argentina, pictured)
  • Manuel Neuer (Germany)
  • Neymar (Brazil)
  • Mesut Ozil (Germany)
  • Gerard Piqué (Spain)
  • Andrea Pirlo (Italy)
  • Sergio Ramos (Spain)
  • Wayne Rooney (England)
  • Yaya Touré (Ivory Coast)
  • Robin van Persie (Netherlands)
  • Xavi Hernández (Spain)

The list will be cut to three (expect Messi’s and Ronaldo’s names to be there). The winner will be announced in January from Switzerland.

  1. tyler200829 - Oct 29, 2012 at 5:24 PM

    Is not in alphabetical order when Ronaldo is with the Js sand Ks

    • Steve Davis - Oct 29, 2012 at 5:44 PM

      clearly I need some coffee

  2. tylerbetts - Oct 29, 2012 at 6:33 PM

    If only he had more experience, Neymar would occupy all 23 spots on the shortlist.

  3. capsfan19 - Oct 30, 2012 at 12:40 AM

    Neymar is beast but an expert diver. At least ronaldo plays more physical. I dunno def down to messi and ronaldo. Alot of the people on there dont deserve to be.
    I love balotelli for instance but he sometimes chooses not to play defense, however he did score two oaks against germany.
    Falcao is straight nasty so maybe?
    Drogba…. Oh drogba, run away to china where no one follows their soccer.
    Benzema? I mean yea he’s good but player of the year good?
    Basically im saying theres so many you can eliminate right off the bat.

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