Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo lead a stacked field of finalists for the Ballon d'Or, French publication France Football announced on Tuesday.
A total of 23 finalists were revealed for the award, which Lionel Messi is considered the favorite to win for the third straight year. Wayne Rooney, Luis Suarez, Sergio Aguero and an astonishing eight total players from FC Barcelona made the lists of finalists. Brazilian sensation Neymar was the lone player based outside of Europe to be nominated.
Here are the finalists:
Eric Abidal, Sergio Agüero, Karim Benzema, Iker Casillas, Cristiano Ronaldo, Daniel Alves, Samuel Eto'o, Cesc Fabregas, Diego Forlan, Andres Iniesta, Lionel Messi, Thomas Müller, Nani, Neymar, Mesut Ã–zil, Gerard Piqué, Wayne Rooney, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Wesley Sneijder, Luis Suarez (Uruguay, Liverpool), David Villa, Xabi Alonso, Xavi Hernandez
France Football also announced ten finalists for Manager of the Year. Here are those finalists:
Vicente del Bosque (Spain), Sir Alex Ferguson (Manchester United), Rudi Garcia (Lille), Pep Guardiola (Barcelona), Jurgen Klopp (Borussia Dortmund), Joachim LÃ¶w (Germany), Jose Mourinho (Real Madrid), Oscar Tabarez (Uruguay), Andre Villas-Boas (Porto, Chelsea), Arsene Wenger (Arsenal).
Here are some other stories to get your Tuesday going:
Boskovic recalled by Montenegro
D.C. United midfielder Branko Boskovic has missed most of the 2011 MLS season due to a torn ACL, but he appears to have recovered in time to earn a call-up by Montenegro for their upcoming Euro 2012 qualifying series against the Czech Republic.
Boskovic has been sidelined since April, but has joined the Montenegran team for the two-game playoff, which will take place on Nov. 11 and 15.
Johnson may train with Manchester United
Chicago Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson missed out in his first chance to play in the MLS playoffs, but he may wind up with a nice consolation prize in the form of a training stint with Manchester United.
Johnson's goalkeeper coach with the Fire, Aron Hyde, told MLS Soccer that he was working on trying to set up a training stint through good friend and Manchester United goalkeeper coach Eric Steele, though nothing has been arranged yet.
Ba Hat-Trick Leads Newcastle
Newcastle maintained their impressive start to the English Premier League season, riding a Demba Ba hat-trick to beat Stoke City, 3-1, on Monday. The Magpies are one of just two remaining unbeaten teams in England, and moved within a point of Manchester United for second place in the EPL with the victory.
Tevez open to move within Premier League
Carlos Tevez's days with Manchester City have long appeared to be numbered, but he just might wind up staying in England.
Tevez's representative, Kia Joorabchian, told Sky Sports that now that Tevez's family is with him in England, he is open to a stay in the Premier League, and wouldn't oppose a move to another Premier League club.
What do you think of the list of Ballon d'Or finalists? Does Messi have your vote, or would you vote for someone else? Anyone missing from the list that you think should be on it? Think Newcastle is for real, or destined to slow down? See Tevez staying in the Premier League?
Share your thoughts below.