The contenders for this year’s FIFA Ballon d’Or award for the best player of 2010 and for the FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year 2010 award were announced on Monday during a press conference held at the headquarters of the sports daily L’Equipe in Paris, in which Jérôme Valcke, FIFA Secretary General, François Morinière, CEO of France Football, Jean-Pierre Papin, a former winner of the Ballon d’Or, and Christian Karembeu, a member of FIFA’s Football Committee, took part.
In alphabetical order, the male nominees are Andrés Iniesta (Spain), Lionel Messi (Argentina) and Xavi (Spain), while Fatmire Bajramaj (Germany), Marta (Brazil) and Birgit Prinz (Germany) will contest the women’s award.
The candidates for the newly created FIFA World Coach of the Year for Men’s Football award and the FIFA World Coach of the Year for Women’s Football award were also announced. The contenders are the following: Vicente del Bosque (Spain/Spanish national team), Pep Guardiola (Spain/FC Barcelona) and José Mourinho (Portugal/FC Internazionale and Real Madrid CF) in the men’s category, and Maren Meinert (Germany/German U-20 national team) Silvia Neid (Germany/German national team) and Pia Sundhage (Sweden/USA national team) in the women’s category.
All of these nominees were confirmed after a poll in which the captains and head coaches of the men’s and women’s national teams as well as international media representatives selected by France Football voted for candidates. The votes from each of the three groups counted for one-third to obtain the final result.
The winners will be revealed at the first FIFA Ballon d’Or gala as part of a televised ceremony at the Zurich Kongresshaus on 10 January 2011, during which the FIFA FIFPro World XI and the FIFA Puskás Award for the most beautiful goal of the year will also be announced for the second year running. The online vote for fans on FIFA.com for the FIFA Puskás Award has now reached the 1 million vote landmark, with one week to go until the poll closes at noon CET on 13 December. The FIFA Presidential Award and the FIFA Fair Play Award will also be presented during the gala.