Ronaldo, Iniesta and Messi are the three nominees for the FIFA Ballon d’Or 2012
© AFP

The contenders for the FIFA Ballon d’Or for the best player of 2012 and the FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year 2012 awards have been announced at a press conference held at the Anhembi Convention Center in Sao Paulo. It was attended by FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter, FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke, L’Equipe and France Football CEO François Morinière, and legendary Brazilian players Ronaldo and Marta, who won the FIFA World Player of the Year and FIFA Women's World Player of the Year awards three and five times respectively.

In alphabetical order, the FIFA Ballon d’Or nominees are Cristiano RONALDO, Portugal, Andres INIESTA, Spain and Lionel MESSI, Argentina, while MARTA, Brazil, Alex MORGAN, USA and Abby WAMBACH, USA will contest the women’s award.

The candidates for the FIFA World Coach of the Year for Men’s Football and FIFA World Coach of the Year for Women’s Football awards were also announced. In alphabetical order, the contenders are: Vicente DEL BOSQUE, Spain (Spain), Pep GUARDIOLA, Spain (FC Barcelona) and Jose MOURINHO, Portugal (Real Madrid) for the FIFA World Coach of the Year for Men’s Football award, and Bruno BINI, France (France), Norio SASAKI, Japan (Japan) and Pia SUNDHAGE, Sweden (USA) for the FIFA World Coach of the Year for Women’s Football award.

All the 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 shortlist of 15 forwards for the FIFA FIFPro World XI was also announced, completing the final shortlist of 55 players featuring five goalkeepers, 20 defenders and 15 midfielders. See the full list by clicking on the link to the right.

In addition, the three nominees for the FIFA Puskás award for the most beautiful goal of the year were announced. They are: FALCAO (América de Cali-Atletico Madrid, 19 May 2012), NEYMAR (Santos-Internacional, 7 March 2012) and Miroslav STOCH (Fenerbahçe-Gençlerbirliği, 3 March 2012).

All the awards will be presented at the FIFA Ballon d’Or Gala at the Kongresshaus in Zurich on 7 January 2013 during a televised show to be streamed live on FIFA.com and FIFA on YouTube.

In addition to the above awards, the recipient of the FIFA Presidential Award and the FIFA Fair Play award will also be revealed during the gala.