In many places around the world the beginning of January is a time of giving, not least Zurich, where the FIFA Ballon d’Or Gala will take centre stage on Monday 7 January.

And like the Three Kings Balthasar, Caspar and Melchior, FIFA.com will be bearing some wonderful gifts for the big occasion.

Football fans around the globe are eagerly waiting to see if it will be Cristiano Ronaldo, Andres Iniesta or Lionel Messi stepping up to collect the 2012 FIFA Ballon d’Or a little before 20:00 CET on Monday, though there will be plenty to keep you entertained in the build-up to that crowning moment, all of it broadcast live at FIFA.com.

Once again this year, the press conferences given by the FIFA Ballon d’Or nominees will be going out live on the site, with the women online at 14:00 CET and the men an hour later. This time, however, we will also be offering a simultaneous live blog complete with your comments, tweets and retweets from stars around the world, as well as photos, videos, links and special polls.

Running from 14:00 to 20:30 CET approximately, the blog will tell you everything you need to know about the 2012 FIFA Ballon d’Or Gala.

And that’s not all. For the very first time FIFA.com will this year be out and about on the red carpet before the ceremony gets under way, broadcasting live from 17:00 CET and bringing you interviews with the evening’s glittering array of guests, from the nominees themselves to stars of yesteryear and former Ballon d’Or winners. Rest assured, FIFA.com has a surprise or two up its sleeve for you.  

The high point of the evening, the Gala itself, will go out live from 18:30 CET right through to its conclusion at around 20:00, during which time you will find out who has made off with the FIFA Ballon d’Or for 2012.

FIFA.com also has plenty more in store for you after the show is over, with interviews with the winners, the very best photos and videos of the event, and the official voting documents, all live and direct. 

With FIFA.com posting articles and videos throughout the day, you won’t miss a single thing, and you can play your part in the show as well by sending us your comments and tweets.