Ballon d’Or Nominations: Messi tips Xavi or Iniesta to win, Xabi Alonso snubs Ronaldo

Speaking to France Football, the founders of the award, Lionel Messi admitted that he does not expect to retain the award he won last year and he tips that one of the two Barcelona midfielders, Xavi and Andres Iniesta, will take the trophy home.

He said:

“I want the winner of the Ballon d’Or to be someone in our locker room.”

He acknowledged that his fellow nominees Carles Puyol, Dani Alves and David Villa are all quality players but when asked the question who he thought was the favorite to win the award was, he replied:

“Xavi and Iniesta, who scored in the final. He was the best player in the tournament, even though Diego Forlan was chosen.

“I think the World Cup will have a lot of weight on the final decision.”

Also… Xabi Alonso has snubbed his Real Madrid teammate, Cristiano Ronaldo, in favor of his Spanish compatriot, Xavi. He said about the Barca man:

“If you look at what he did on the pitch, it was spectacular.”

Moreover, yes, it is as true as it gets that there are absolutely no English nominees this time around but Spain has seven nominations. Here is the complete list of the 23 players nominated for the 2010 Ballon d’Or which is to be announced on December 6th, 2010 after being decided by a panel of experts:

  • Spain:

    Andres Iniesta (Barcelona)
    Carles Puyol (Barcelona)
    Cesc Fabregas (Arsenal)
    David Villa (Barcelona)
    Iker Casillas (Real Madrid)
    Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid)
    Xavi (Barcelona)

  • Germany:

    Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich)
    Mesut Ozil (Real Madrid)
    Miroslav Klose (Bayern Munich)
    Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich)
    Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich)

  • Brazil:

    Dani Alves (Barcelona)
    Julio Cesar (Inter Milan)
    Maicon (Inter Milan)

  • Netherlands:

    Arjen Robben (Bayern Munich)
    Wesley Sneijder (Inter Milan)

  • Argentina:

    Lionel Messi (Barcelona)

  • Portugal:

    Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)

  • Uruguay:

    Diego Forlan (Atletico Madrid)

  • Ivory Coast:

    Didier Drogba (Chelsea)

  • Cameroon:

    Samuel Eto’o (Inter Milan)

  • Ghana:

    Asamoah Gyan (Sunderland)

Also see: How on earth has Diego Milito failed to make the cut for the Ballon d’Or? | The FIFA Ballon d’Or’s probably contenders.

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