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FIFA reveals “short list” for Player of the Year

Lionel Messi

Argentina’s Lionel Messi looks on during a training session a day before an international soccer friendly match against Brazil, Friday, June 8, 2012, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

AP

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.