BARCELONA, SPAIN - MAY 04: Lionel Messi of Barcelona celebrates with Daniel Alves after scoring Barcelon's fourth goal during the La Liga match between Barcelona and Tenerife at Camp Nou stadium on May 4, 2010 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

The Long Lost Kingdom Of Spain: Spanish And La Liga Players Dominate Ballon d'Or Shortlist

The Annual Ballon d'Or Shortlist Has Been Announced While Spain Dominates, English And Italian Players Vanish

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The Long Lost Kingdom Of Spain: Spanish And La Liga Players Dominate Ballon d'Or Shortlist

The annual FIFA Ballon d'Or shortlist has been announced as the who's who of world football queue up for the celebrated accolade. Obviously, Spain has dominated the list with seven players, all of which appeared for the national team en route to their first ever World Cup Final win this summer. 

Barcelona's Xavi, Andres Iniesta, David Villa and Carles Puyol received a nod while Real Madrid's Xabi Alonso and Iker Casillas round out the Spanish La Liga representatives. Arsenal's Cesc Fabregas, one of only three Premier League players to make the list, rounds out an inspiring list of Spanish stars who lifted the World Cup trophy against Holland in July. While English players were deservedly snubbed entirely, only Sunderland's Ghanaian striker Asamoah Gyan and Ivorian striker Didier Drogba of Chelsea, along with the aforementioned Fabregas, represent England's top flight. 

While Spanish players have held their own well, brilliant in their own right for club and country, Spain's La Liga, arguably the world's most technically gifted league, adds a few more world class names to the list in Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) and Mesut Ozil (Germany), Barcelona's Dani Alves (Brazil) and Lionel Messi (Argentina), and Atletico Madrid's Diego Forlan, the Uruguayan winner of the World Cup's golden boot award. The names equal an impressive eleven total players from La Liga. 

Current European Champions Inter Milan, a side that won all in its path last season, have four first team players on the list in Brazilian's Maicon and Julio Cesar, Cameroonian International Samuel Eto'o and many a football fans pick for winner, whether deserved or absurd, Holland's Wesley Sneijder. 

Joining Ozil on the list of German representatives are Bayern Munich's Bastian Schweinsteiger, German Captain and Munich team-mate to Schweinsteiger Philipp Lahm and World Cup impresarios Thomas Muller and Miroslav Klose. Also on the list from the German Champions and Champions League runners-up, Holland's super-winger Arjen Robben

Real Madrid's Jose Mourinho tops the list of favorites to grab World Coach of the Year after winning everything in his path last time out with Inter Milan while fellow world greats Carlo Ancelotti of Chelsea, Germany's Joachim Low and World Cup winner Vicente del Bosque of Spain are also included on the list of managers. 

Full List of Player Nominees: Xavi (Barcelona and Spain), David Villa (Barcelona and Spain), Wesley Sneijder (Inter Milan and Holland), Arjen Robben (Bayern Munich and Holland), Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich and Germany), Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich and Germany), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich and Germany), Mesut Ozil (Real Madrid and Germany), Samuel Eto'o (Inter Milan and Cameroon), Iker Casillas (Real Madrid and Spain), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid and Portugal), Didier Drogba (Chelsea and Cote d'Ivoire), Cesc Fabregas (Arsenal and Spain), Miroslav Klose (Bayern Munich and Germany), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona and Spain), Asamoah Gyan (Sunderland and Ghana), Diego Forlan (Atletico Madrid and Uruguay), Maicon (Inter Milan and Brazil), Carles Puyol (Barcelona and Spain), Lionel Messi (Barcelona and Argentina), Dani Alves (Barcelona and Brazil), Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid and Spain), Julio Cesar (Inter Milan and Brazil).

Full List of Coach Nominees: Alex Ferguson (Manchester United), Carlo Ancelotti (Chelsea), Arsene Wenger (Arsenal), Vicente del Bosque (Spain), Pep Guardiola (Barcelona), Jose Mourinho (Real Madrid/Inter Milan), Joachim Low (Germany), Oscar Tabarez (Uruguay), Louis van Gaal (Bayern Munich), Bert van Marwijk (Holland). 

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