Messi, Ronaldo, Falcao headline Ballon d'Or shortlist filled with La Liga players

Messi, Ronaldo, Falcao headline Ballon d'Or shortlist filled with La Liga players

South American Soccer

Messi, Ronaldo, Falcao headline Ballon d'Or shortlist filled with La Liga players

FIFA has released a 23-man shortlist for the 2012 Ballon d’Or and to very few people’s surprise, La Liga players comprised most of it.

Barcelona’s Leo Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid striker Radamel Falcao were just three of the 14 players on the Ballon d’Or list that ply their trade in Spain’s top division. Others that also do so are Barcelona midfielders Xavi and Andres Iniesta and Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas.

Of the remaining nine players, five currently play in the Premiership. Manchester United strikers Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie were among those five.

Others on the list who do not fall into the above categories include Didier Drogba, Neymar and Gianluigi Buffon.

The winner of the award will be announced on January 7 of next year.

Here are the full 23 players on the 2012 Ballon d’Or shortlist:

Leo Messi

Cristiano Ronaldo

Radamel Falcao

Neymar

Sergio Aguero

Xabi Alonso

Mario Balotelli

Karim Benzema

Gianluigi Buffon

Sergio Busquets

Iker Casillas

Didier Drogba

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Andres Iniesta

Manuel Neuer

Mesut Ozil

Gerard Pique

Andrea Pirlo

Sergio Ramos

Wayne Rooney

Yayo Toure

Robin van Persie

Xavi

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What do you think of this shortlist? Is there anyone that should/shouldn’t be on? Does it even matter given that Messi will likely win it again?

Share your thoughts below.

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