7 Dec 2010

Barcelona trio monopolise world player shortlist

8:43 am on 7 December 2010

It's Barcelona one, two and three no matter how the votes fall for the best footballer of the year award, as Spain's World Cup winners Xavi and Andres Iniesta were joined by Argentina forward and holder Lionel Messi on an all-Barca shortlist for the FIFA Ballon d'Or.

Spaniard Vicente del Bosque, the man who masterminded Spain's first World Cup success, made the shortlist for the Coach of the Year award along with Barcelona's Pep Guardiola and Real Madrid's Jose Mourinho, who won the Champions League with Inter Milan.

It was the third time that three players from the same club had been named on the Ballon d'Or shortlist.

In 1988 and 1989, AC Milan monopolised the first three spots on the list, with Dutch striker Marco Van Basten winning both times.

This year's winners will be announced on January 10th in Zurich.