Spanish Dominate Ballon d'Or Shortlist | STACK
X

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for our FREE Newsletter.

Spanish Dominate Ballon d'Or Shortlist

November 15, 2011 | Julian Austin

Must See Soccer Videos

Players from Barcelona FC and Real Madrid, two powerhouse Spanish League soccer teams, dominated the recently-released shortlist of candidates for the 2011 FIFA Ballon d'Or award, which honors the world's top soccer player. This year's favorites include Argentinian prodigy and two-time winner Lionel Messi, Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo and Spanish maestro Xavi Hernández.

Of the 23 players on the 2011 Ballon d'Or list, seven are of Spanish origin, more than any other country. In addition, Spanish club Barcelona FC has eight players on the list and Real Madrid FC has five.

Who is the favorite to win the 2011 Ballon d'Or? Current Barca player Cesc Fàbregas has an idea. "I would put my hand in fire that Messi will win the Ballon d'Or," Fàbregas said. "He is a natural winner and a motivated fighter. What he has done we won't see again. He gives everything and scores goals."

The 24-year-old Messi would be the third three-time winner of FIFA's Player of the Year Award and the first back-to-back-to-back winner. Only Zinedine Zidane (1998, 2000 and 2003) and Ronaldo (1996, 1997 and 2002) have won the award three times since its inception in 1991.

The top three players will be revealed Dec. 5 in Paris, with the eventual champion to be crowned Jan. 9, 2012, in Zurich, Switzerland.

2011 FIFA Ballon d'Or Shortlist
Eric Abidal (FRA), Sergio Aguero (ARG), Xabi Alonso (ESP), Daniel Alves (BRA), Karim Benzema (FRA), Iker Casillas (ESP), Samuel Eto'o (CMR), Cesc Fabregas (ESP), Diego Forlan (URU), Andres Iniesta (ESP), Lionel Messi (ARG), Thomas Müller (GER), Nani (POR), Neymar (BRA), Mesut Ozil (GER), Gerard Pique (ESP), Cristiano Ronaldo (POR), Wayne Rooney (ENG), Bastian Schweinsteiger (GER), Wesley Sneijder (NED), Luis Suarez (URU), David Villa (ESP) and Xavi (ESP)

Source:  fifa.com

Topics: SOCCER | NEWS
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

An Economist Claims to Have Found Point When NHL Players Peak

Nike Unveils 2015 Pro Bowl Uniforms

America's Tallest Basketball Player Commits to UCF

Peyton Manning

Nebraska Unveils New 'Red Rising' Alternate Football Uniforms

Man Sets Record for Most Bench Presses...Under Water

Steelers LBs Smash Weight Room After Big Victory

Tyga to Star in New Reality Show

WATCH: Fresno State Baller Drains 5 Straight Half-Court Shots

First Look: Notre Dame's New Football Uniforms from Under Armour

Frank Gore Is Fighting for His Job

Odell Beckham Jr. Can Play Kicker, Too

WATCH: Mo'Ne Davis the Basketball Star

The 5 Weirdest Drills at NFL Training Camps

Training with the Elevation Training Mask 2.0

YES, REALLY: Bowling Seeks to Become Olympic Sport

We Followed Noah Vonleh On NBA Draft Night. Here

adidas Set to Drop the D Lillard 1

U.S. Football Players Take on the World in the Kuwaiti Desert

Can Kevin Durant Make Sonic Drive-In Serve Healthier Food?

USA's Omar Gonzalez and Graham Zusi Talk World Cup

LeBron James Leads Cavaliers' Workout on the Beach in Brazil

'Game of Thrones' Actor Crowned Europe's Strongest Man

CrossFit for Kids: Not What You Might Think

Sammy Watkins Talks About His First Year in the NFL

NBA Prospect Noah Vonleh

'X-Men: Apocalypse' Gets 3 New Castmates

Catching Up With NBA Prospect Marcus Smart

Cardale Jones Returns to Ohio State University

adidas Unveils New Ultra Boost Running Shoe

The End of Johnny Manziel, Part 2

Blink and You'll Miss Aroldis Chapman's Blazing 104-MPH Fastball

You Won't Believe How Little Money Olympic Rowers Earn

Giants RB David Wilson Says Goodbye to the NFL

Melo Follows LeBron's Lead

Randy Moss Joins the High School Coaching Ranks

WATCH: High School Running Back From Texas Refuses to Go Down

WATCH: Jadeveon Clowney's Monster Training Camp Tackle

Study Ranks Paleo As Second-Worst Diet

Texas High School Team Goes 0-10, Makes Playoffs