adidas Golden Ball nominees announced
© AFP

The FIFA General Secretary Jérôme Valcke and adidas Group CEO Herbert Hainer today officially announced the 10 nominees for the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ adidas Golden Ball. The adidas Golden Ball is the official FIFA trophy for the “Best Player of the Tournament”. The ten nominated players were selected by the FIFA Technical Study Group and includes football experts such as Kalusha Bwalya, Christian Karembeu, Jomo Sono and Gérard Houllier.

Nominees for the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ adidas Golden Ball trophy are: Diego Forlan (URU, shirt #10), Asamoah Gyan (GHA, 3), Andres Iniesta (ESP, 6), Lionel Messi (ARG, 10), Mesut Oezil (GER, 8), Arjen Robben (NED, 11), Bastian Schweinsteiger (GER, 7), Wesley Sneijder (NED, 10), David Villa (ESP, 7), Xavi (ESP, 8)

Accredited media representatives will vote to determine the winners of the adidas Golden, Silver and Bronze ball awards on FIFA.com. The winners will be announced after the final on 11 July.

adidas Golden Ball past winners:
1982 FIFA World Cup™ Spain: Paolo Rossi (Italy)
1986 FIFA World Cup™ Mexico: Diego Maradona (Argentina)
1990 FIFA World Cup™ Italy: Salvatore Schillaci (Italy)
1994 FIFA World Cup™ USA: Romario (Brazil)
1998 FIFA World Cup™ France: Ronaldo (Brazil
2002 FIFA World Cup™ Korea / Japan: Oliver Kahn (Germany)
2006 FIFA World Cup™ Germany: Zinedine Zidane (France)

FIFA Technical Study Group (TSG)
The FIFA Technical Study Group is headed up by Jean-Paul Brigger . Further prominent members of the TSG are Christian Karembeu, Humberto Grondona, Gérard Houllier, Holger Osieck, Leodegar Tenga, Gabriel Calderon, Alvin Corneal, Kwok Ka-Ming, Kalusha Bwalya, Ephraim Matsilele ‘Jomo’ Sono and Jim Selby.

The characteristics of the ten best players for the adidas Golden Ball as identified by the FIFA Technical Study Group (in alphabetical order):

Diego Forlan (Uruguay)
Architect of the team’s attack, very influential, great impact for his team, provider of quality final passes, goal scorer, set pieces/shots from long range

Asamoah Gyan (Ghana)
Huge work rate, efficient, good dribbler, creates problems to each defence, good goal scorer

Andres Iniesta (Spain)
Very fine ball-playing attacking midfielder, a star for the team, impressive dribbling ability

Lionel Messi (Argentina)
Outstanding in his pace and creativity for his team, dribbling, shooting, passing – spectacular and efficient

Mesut Oezil (Germany)
A real talent for the present and the future, quick feet and great vision, good final and decisive passes

Arjen Robben (Netherlands)
Very good pace and dribbling skills, wonderful ability to cut inside from the right, effective to his team

Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany)
Impressive by his first pass (forward and accurate), very good passer, has moments of individual brilliance, ball-winner

Wesley Sneijder (Netherlands)
A maestro in midfield, exceptional work rate, the engine of Netherland’s attacks, excellent passer and scorer

David Villa (Spain)
Top scorer; quick, two footed, very good on one-on-one situations, provides good final passes, excellent finisher

Xavi (Spain)
The metronome and the engine of the Spanish team, very influential in the passing style of the game, one of the finest midfielders in the tournament