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FIFA Ballon d'Or


FIFA Ballon d'Or winner  

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  1. 1. FIFA Ballon d'Or winner

    • Eric ABIDAL
    • Sergio AGUERO
    • Karim BENZEMA
    • Iker CASILLAS
    • Samuel ETOO
    • Cesc FABREGAS
    • Diego FORLAN
    • Andreas INIESTA
    • Lionel MESSI
    • Thomas MUELLER
    • NANI
    • NEYMAR
    • Mesut OEZIL
    • Gerard PIQUE
    • Wayne ROONEY
    • Wesley SNEIJDER
    • Luis SUAREZ
    • David VILLA
    • Xabi ALONSO
    • XAVI

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Eric Abidal

Now 32, the hugely versatile Eric Abidal has thrived in the face of adversity in 2011, overcoming a health scare and shining in both the France and Barcelona rearguards.


Abidal, whose family hails from the French Caribbean island of Martinique, has proved a composed performer in the left-back slot handed to him by Pep Guardiola, his coolness under pressure a feature of Barça’s league, UEFA Champions League and Spanish and European Super Cup triumphs.


Equally effective in a central defensive role for France, Abidal made a significant contribution to their successful bid for a place at UEFA EURO 2012. Highly regarded for his defensive solidity, he earned even greater admiration after undergoing surgery for a kidney tumour in March and then making a spectacularly speedy return to the field of play.


Sergio Aguero

Though 2011 has been a year of upheaval for Sergio Aguero, the Argentinian ace has maintained his lofty standards on the field of play. Likened by many to Brazilian legend Romario, the fleet-footed forward ended a five-year association with Atletico Madrid just months after being made captain and made the move to Manchester City.


His Premier League debut could not have been more productive, Aguero conjuring up a 31-minute two-goal cameo against Swansea City. Also starring on the international front, El Kun top-scored for his country with three goals at the 2011 Copa America.



Karim Benzema

2011 has been a year of renewal for Karim Benzema. Now settled in at the Bernabeu, the former Lyon prodigy has made himself an indispensable part of the Real Madrid front line, using his technique and speed to great effect last season, which he ended with 26 goals in all competitions and numerous assists, not to mention a Copa del Rey winners’ medal.


Overlooked for France’s ill-fated 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ campaign, Benzema has also revived his international career, leading Les Bleus’ attack with characteristic élan in their fruitful quest for a place at UEFA EURO 2012.



Iker Casillas

Capable of maintaining his concentration when his team-mates are laying siege to opposing goals, Iker Casillas is regarded as something of a saint in Spanish football, his divine interventions between the posts for both club and country earning him widespread admiration.


Having lost none of his agility over the years, Casillas’ maturity and strength of character have made him an obvious choice as captain for both club and country, his coolness under pressure proving a valuable asset.


In a year in which he won the Copa del Rey with Real Madrid and conceded less league goals than anyone bar Barcelona’s Victor Valdes, Casillas also played nine games for his country, keeping five clean sheets. He is now just one appearance away from equalling Andoni Zubizarreta as Spain’s most-capped player, having conceded far fewer goals than his illustrious predecessor.


Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo has never been deterred by seemingly impossible objectives and long-standing records. Take Ferenc Puskas’s single-season haul of 47 goals in all competitions for Real Madrid in 1959/60, for example. The Portuguese smashed that club record last season, hitting the back of the net approximately every 70 minutes to chalk up 53 goals in all, 40 of them in the league, itself another all-time high.


Despite amassing a host of team and personal accolades, among them the FIFA World Player of the Year award in 2008, and the Puskas Award the following year, the Portugal and Real Madrid star shows no signs of letting up in his continuing quest for excellence.


Dani Alves

In carving out a niche for himself in a formidable line-up, Brazilian right-back Dani Alves has shown there is more to Barcelona’s attacking weaponry than their posse of gifted midfielders and forwards.


Producing his trademark runs down the flank and pinpoint passes and centres, Alves was a leading light yet again as the Catalans surged to a Spanish league and UEFA Champions League double in 2010/11.


Little wonder then that the incombustible full-back is one of the few Brazil players who served under Dunga to have kept their place in Mano Menezes’ new-look Seleção.


Samuel Etoo

The years may pass but Samuel Eto’o’s appetite for goals remains as keen as ever. The Cameroonian struck 37 of them for Inter Milan in a typically productive 2010/11 season. I Nerazzurri made plenty of that contribution to come away with three trophies - the Supercoppa Italiana, the FIFA Club World Cup and the Coppa Italia - with Eto’o scoring in the finals of all three.


His decisive role in the Coppa victory over Palermo was one of his last appearances for the Milanese giants, with big-spending Russian Premier League outfit Anzhi Makhachkala making him the highest-paid footballer on the planet in a much-publicised summer transfer deal.


Crowned the African Footballer of the Year on four occasions, more than any other player, Eto’o will be a major absentee at the CAF African Cup of Nations 2012, his beloved Cameroon having come up short in the qualifying competition.



Cesc Fabregas

Cesc Fabregas brought an end to a long-running saga in August 2011, finally relinquishing the captain’s armband at Arsenal to return home to his beloved Barcelona. Immediately quelling doubts as to how he would shape up in Barça’s star-spangled formation, Fabregas won his first trophy with the Catalans, the Spanish Super Cup, just two days after his unveiling at the Camp Nou.


A week later he scored his first goal for the club in their UEFA Super Cup win over Porto, the Spanish international equalling in ten days with Barcelona his entire trophy haul in eight years with Arsenal.


Freed from the responsibility of creating play, Fabregas is revelling in a more incisive, attacking role with his new club and has wasted little time in striking up a near-telepathic understanding with Lionel Messi.


Diego Forlan

Diego Forlan could have been forgiven for resting on his laurels after blazing his way to the adidas Golden Boot at the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™. The blond-maned striker has lost none of his focus, however, a point he proved when Uruguay won their 15th Copa America crown in July, Forlan chipping in with two goals in a comprehensive defeat of Paraguay in the final. In doing so, he maintained a proud family tradition, his grandfather and father having also won the coveted continental title.


His country’s most-capped player and highest goalscorer, Forlan called time on is four-year stay with Atletico Madrid to seek out a fresh challenge with Inter Milan. Days after scoring against Palermo on his Nerrazzuri debut, he lined up against Novara for the 600th game of his professional career.


Andreas Iniesta

“I don’t play the game to be number one,” Andres Iniesta once said, “I play to be happy.” So adept is the Barcelona and Spain midfielder with the ball at his feet, however, that it is only natural his name should feature high on the shortlist for any individual award.


Ranked the fourth-best player in last season’s UEFA Champions League, the diminutive wizard is still warmly applauded wherever he goes in Spain, national appreciation for his FIFA World Cup™-winning goal at South Africa 2010 remaining as high as ever.


Though afflicted by a string of niggling injuries, Iniesta has quickly regained prime form. Few possess his ability to detect chinks in opposing defences and to change the pace of the game, qualities that have helped take both club and country to the pinnacle of European and world football and keep them there.


Lionel Messi

2011 has been just like any other year for Lionel Messi since he burst on to the international football scene; another 12 months littered with personal and team accolades.


Promoted to the captaincy of his national side, with whom he ended a scoring drought of two years and seven months in official matches, the Argentinian superstar has been reeling off the trophies again with Barcelona. The Spanish Super Cup, UEFA Super Cup, Spanish League and UEFA Champions League all have all come Barça’s way this year, with Messi ending the continent’s premier club competition as the leading scorer for the third season running.


Already his club’s second-highest marksman with 194 goals, Messi also picked up the inaugural UEFA Best Player in Europe Award, ahead of team-mate Xavi and Cristiano Ronaldo.


Thomas Mueller

Thomas Muller reproduced his fine form from the previous year in 2011. After being voted Best Young Player at the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ in South Africa, where he also collected the adidas Golden Shoe as the tournament's top scorer, the right-sided midfielder continued to deliver the goods both for Germany and his club side Bayern Munich.


The 22-year-old may have missed out on a title with the German record champions last term, but 12 goals and 13 assists ensured he remained among the Bundesliga's most prized attackers. Muller was one of only three players, along with goalkeeper Manuel Neuer and captain Philipp Lahm, to play in all of Germany's ten UEFA EURO 2012 qualifiers, scoring three goals and providing five assists en route to Poland/Ukraine.



Nani has collected more than his fair share of silverware during a notable five-year association with English giants Manchester United, standing out from the crowd thanks to the panache with which he plays the game.


Born in the Cape Verde Islands, the Portugal wizard has built his reputation on his dazzling wing-play, intricate dribbling skills and his uncanny knack of getting to the by-line. As adept at setting up team-mates as he is rounding off moves himself, Nani struck nine goals in United’s march to yet another league title last term.



Accustomed to the limelight since the age of 14, Neymar has become a household name in Brazil and one of its brightest hopes for the future.


The precocious Santos star has spent 2011 fulfilling the vast expectations invested in him, contributing to their successful Sao Paulo state title defence and inspiring them to a third Copa Libertadores triumph. On top of that the 19-year-old also played a major hand in Brazil’s U-20 South American Championship win, one that secured A Seleçãozinha a berth at London 2012.


The two-footed Neymar is a handful for any defence with his mazy dribbling and increasingly lethal finishing, qualities that have made him a fixture in the senior Brazil team and a recognised star of world football.


Mesut Oezil

2011 proved to be another triumphant one for Mesut Ozil. Following his breakthrough at the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ in South Africa, the 23-year-old soon earned a regular starting spot with new club Real Madrid, with whom he celebrated glory in the Spanish Cup as well as a runners-up finish in La Liga.


The skilful playmaker also had a leading role as Germany booked their place at UEFA EURO 2012 with a perfect qualification record of ten wins from as many matches. Ozil appeared in nine of those games, scoring five goals and creating a further seven.


Gerard Pique

Barcelona’s feat in conceding fewer goals than any other team in La Liga last season was made all the more impressive by the fact that stalwart centre-half Carles Puyol missed a large chunk of the campaign through injury. While goalkeeper Victor Valdes was his usual reliable self, Gerard Pique played a no less crucial part in keeping things watertight, assuming the responsibility of marshalling the defence in Puyol’s absence and performing a similarly commanding role for Spain.


Still only 24, the cultured central defender has refined his already acute positional sense, providing a reassuring presence behind Barça and Spain’s advanced midfield lines. Equally imposing whenever he joins the attack, Pique collected four more winners’ medals with his club in 2011, a year in which he furthered his reputation as the defensive rock of Spanish football.


Wayne Rooney

After a topsy-turvy 2010 for both club and country, Wayne Rooney has spent the past year cementing his place among world football’s elite.


With a contract dispute and goal drought behind him, 2011 witnessed the Manchester United star strike up a superb partnership with Javier Hernandez which proved crucial in securing a record-breaking 19th title for the Red Devils. Returning to a deeper-lying No10 role brought out the best in the 26-year-old, and individual highlights included a sublime match-winning overhead kick in the Manchester derby and a typically explosive finish in United’s UEFA Champions League final defeat by Barcelona.


Rooney also remained the focal point of England’s attack as Fabio Capello’s side qualified comfortably for UEFA EURO 2012, although a flash of his famous temper in their final qualifier earned a suspension that rules him out of the Three Lions’ group stage matches in Poland and Ukraine.


Bastian Schweinsteiger

Bastian Schweinsteiger is the engine room at the heart of the Bayern Munich midfield and also ranks among the finest of a generation of world-class players in the German national team owing to his superb vision and passing.


The defensive midfielder pulled the strings as his country came through qualifying for UEFA EURO 2012 with an impeccable record, bringing order to his side's build-up play and contributing one goal and one assist as the three-time world champions cruised to a place in Poland/Ukraine.


Wesley Sniejder

Matching a year in which he became a European and world champion with Inter Milan and was named the 2010 FIFA World Cup’s second-best player was always likely to prove tough for Wesley Sneijder. However, although Inter’s fading fortunes didn’t aid his cause, this classy midfield schemer succeeded in strengthening his reputation as one of the game’s foremost creative talents.


A Coppa Italia win might have represented meagre reward for the 27-year-old's efforts at club level, but the international arena brought greater joy, with the Netherlands’ consistently fine form sending them strolling through to UEFA EURO 2012 and rocketing for a time to the top of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking.


The close season brought with it sustained speculation about a move to Manchester United, but Sneijder stayed put in Milan and remains of vital importance to Inter and the Oranje’s hopes of glory.


Luis Suarez

Uruguayan livewire Luis Suarez is unlikely to forget 2011 in a hurry, the 24-year-old having this year cemented his status as one of the game’s most predatory strikers at both international and domestic level.


The Nacional youth product was central to Uruguay’s latest Copa America triumph. After hitting four goals in all, one of them in the final against Paraguay, he was named the competition’s most valuable player. Suarez also took a big step forward in his club career, completing the biggest ever transfer deal involving a Uruguayan player when ending a five-year stay in the Eredivisie to pull on Liverpool’s famous red shirt.


No sooner did he arrive at Anfield than the goals started coming, Suarez getting off the mark 17 minutes into his debut appearance against Stoke City.


David Villa

Spanish goal machine David Villa has not let up since easing past Raul as his country’s all-time highest scorer in March, going on to add yet more goals to his record-breaking tally for La Roja.


On the club front Villa won three titles in his first season with Barcelona, scoring the goal that set the seal on their majestic 3-1 defeat of Manchester United in the UEFA Champions League final in May. Spanish and UEFA Super Cup winners’ medals have since come the Asturian striker’s way, and though finding goals harder to come by in the wider position Pep Guardiola has been deploying him in, the tireless Villa continues to contribute to the team cause.


Xabi Alonso

The man charged with the task of setting the tempo in the Real Madrid midfield, Xabi Alonso has gained the complete confidence of coach Jose Mourinho. Elegant and poised on the ball, his vision and ability to hit raking long passes are pivotal to Los Merengues’ lethal counter-attacking game.


A member of the team that won the Copa del Rey this year, his first trophy with the club, the unassuming Alonso is a crucial cog in the Madrid machine, and with 90 international appearances now under his belt, he lies sixth on the list of most capped Spain players.



The undisputed king of possession football, Xavi was his usual ultra-consistent self in 2011, producing a string of typically polished displays as he moved third on the list of Spain’s most capped players and set a new appearances record for his club employers Barcelona.


The vastly experienced midfield maestro was integral to Barça’s four trophy wins during the course of the year, his gift for recycling possession and dictating the pace undimmed. Responsible for providing Lionel Messi with a steady supply of bullets, the selfless Xavi finished runner-up to his Argentinian team-mate for the UEFA Best Player in Europe Award.

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The list lacks Mario Gomez.


Has a goal scoring record to rival Ronaldo and Messi but manages to do it in a league where the players don't run 5 miles at the first sight of a big team.



Messi will probably win it though i dont believe all the hype.



Though if it were judged solely on International Football Luis Suarez would be my pick.

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I would go so far as to say that SHOULD Real Madrid win the league this season, then Ronaldo will be Ballon d'Or winner next time around. Messi looks likely to win, however I would think a Spanish Barca player will win it, as that person would have won the League, Champions League and World Cup these past couple of seasons.


I'm going for Xavi. Incredible player, and integral to all the teams that have won all the major trophies.



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