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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

—–

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.

11 comments
  • Dinho

    IMO, Balotelli, Busquets and Pique should not be on this list.

    And, how is Kompany not there? He had an outstanding year.

    Maybe it’s me being biased, but doesn’t Dempsey’s year warrant some consideration? (especially if Balotelli is there)

    Like

      • Ryan

        I’m not totally sure he’s the best defensive midfielder on his own team. I’d take Song over Biscuits.

        Like

      • Dinho

        Totally agree, Ryan. If Puyol and Pique weren’t hurt, throw Mascherano in the mix too.

        Like

  • lloris

    Do we judge them on team performances, individual achievements, or trophies? Cause Drogba won Chelsea the CL but Falcao outscored him not to mention Messi but he won neither the league or the CL

    Like

    • Al17

      Based on my observation, historically winners seem to win in part to popular trend at the time. I emphasize PART and this is based on comments from those whom were/are voting when explaining their votes, for example Ronaldo won in 2002 due to his World Cup performance and Brazil winning it. He played very few matches for Inter that season due to a serious Knee Injury–Blew it OUT but managed to return for the World Cup and got hot in the tournament. So if you had a great season and your country didn’t play in World Cup, you were screwed and basically in the eyes of the voters, your season meant zip. Not fair at all but popular trends seem to weigh on voter’s decisions.

      Like

  • Al17

    This is how I’d call it
    1. Messi et Falcao et Ronaldo
    4. Iniesta
    5. Ibrahimovic et Neymar
    I’m dead serious, I think that it should be a three way tie. These 3 are playing at another level and continue to deliver the goods. Kompany nor Dempsey (and I like both players alot) shouldn’t be on this list. Balotelli earned the right for his play with Italia over the summer. Course if I spend a few more minutes thinking about 4 & 5 will change.

    Like

  • Matt

    Falcao led his team to Europa League title, that’s helping his candidacy some. While not the CL, Europa is still a grinding, tough tournament.

    Like

  • Soloo

    I think best players shouldn’t b narrowed down to those who score the most goals,we have players who makes a difference in a game like midfields who retain possession,intersect passes,wingers who provide amazing crosses,defenders who make unbelieveable and consistent safe tackles. i think that list should be expanded to cater the likes of pepe[r.madrid],gerard[liverpool],Quaresma,e.t.c

    Like

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