FIFA Ballon d'Or 2011 Shortlists Announced

ZURICH SWITZERLAND - JANUARY 10: Lionel Messi (c) of Argentina alongside Xavi (r) and Andres Iniesta (l) of Spain during a press conference ahead of the FIFA Ballon d'or Gala at the Zurich Kongresshaus on January 10 2011 in Zurich Switzerland. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

FIFA has announced the 23 male finalists and 10 female finalists for the 2011 FIFA Ballon d'Or award.

In the second year of the merged FIFA World Player of the Year and the European Footballer of the Year award, now the FIFA Ballon d'Or, the finalists have been announced and the results aren't expected to change. The winners of the first edition of the award, Lionel Messi and Marta, are the heavy favorites to take the award again for the second consecutive year. Messi won both the FIFA World Player of the Year and the old Ballon d'Or in 2009 as well as his 2010 win, while Marta has won all of the previous five World Player of the Year awards.

Here are all of the 23 players on the shortlist for the men's award.

Lionel Messi (Barcelona)

Eric Abidal (Barcelona)

Xavi Hernandez (Barcelona)

Andres Iniesta (Barcelona)

Daniel Alves (Barcelona)

Gerard Pique (Barcelona)

David Villa (Barcelona)

Cesc Fabregas (Barcelona)

Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)

Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid)

Karim Benzema (Real Madrid)

Iker Casillas (Real Madrid)

Mesut Özil (Real Madrid)

Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)

Wayne Rooney (Manchester United)

Nani (Manchester United)

Luis Suarez (Liverpool)

Thomas Müller (Bayern Munich)

Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich)

Wesley Sneijder (Inter Milan)

Diego Forlan (Inter Milan)

Samuel Eto'o (Anzhi)

Neymar (Santos)

And the ten players on the women's shortlist.

Marta (WNY Flash)

Alex Morgan (WNY Flash)

Abby Wambach (magicJack)

Hope Solo (magicJack)

Honawe Sawa (INAC Kobe Leonessa)

Aya Miyama (Okayama Yunogo Belle)

Sonia Bompastor (Lyon)

Louisa Necib (Lyon)

Lotta Schelin (Lyon)

Kerstin Garefrekes (FFC Frankfurt)

The names of the three men's and three women's finalists will be revealed on December 5, with the award winner announced on January 9.

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