Rooney nominated for Ballon d'Or best player award

Wayne Rooney

Wayne Rooney is the only British player on Fifa's shortlist for the Ballon d'Or, the prize for the best footballer of 2012.

The Man United striker is joined on the list by team-mate Rob Van Persie and Premier League rivals like Sergio Aguero, Yaya Toure and Mario Balotelli.

Barcelona's super-striker Lionel Messi and Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo are the favourites for the award, which will be handed out at a special ceremony in January.

What is the Ballon d'Or?

The Ballon d'Or is one of the oldest and most famous prizes in football. It's voted for by international captains and head coaches, as well as the media.

Only a handful of British players have ever won the award with Michael Owen, in 2001, being the most recent.

BRITISH & UK BALLON D'OR WINNERS

  • 1956: Stanley Matthews
  • 1964: Denis Law
  • 1966: Bobby Charlton
  • 1968: George Best
  • 1978/79: Kevin Keegan
  • 2001: Michael Owen

There is also an award for the best coach. Rooney's boss Sir Alex Ferguson, along with Chelsea's Champions League winning manager Roberto Di Matteo are both shortlisted. Madrid boss Jose Mourinho and Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque are also in the running.

The shortlists for best player and coach will be narrowed down to three names on 29 November.

The full list

Player nominees: Sergio Aguero (Manchester City/Argentina), Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid/Spain), Mario Balotelli (Manchester City/Italy), Karim Benzema (Real Madrid/France), Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus/Italy), Sergio Busquets (Barcelona/Spain), Iker Casillas (Real Madrid/Spain), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid/Portugal), Didier Drogba (Shanghai Shenhua/Ivory Coast), Radamel Falcao (Atletico Madrid/Colombia), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Paris St Germain/Sweden), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona/Spain), Lionel Messi (Barcelona/Argentina), Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich/Germany), Neymar (Santos/Brazil), Mesut Ozil (Real Madrid/Germany), Gerard Pique (Barcelona/Spain), Andrea Pirlo (Juventus/Italy), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid/Spain), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United/England), Yaya Toure (Manchester City/Ivory Coast), Robin van Persie (Manchester United/Netherlands), Xavi (Barcelona/Spain)

Coach nominees: Vicente del Bosque (Spain/Spain national team), Roberto Di Matteo (Italy/Chelsea), Alex Ferguson (Scotland/Manchester United), Pep Guardiola (Spain/Barcelona), Jupp Heynckes (Germany/Bayern Munich), Juergen Klopp (Germany/Borussia Dortmund), Joachim Loew (Germany/Germany national team), Roberto Mancini (Italy/Manchester City), Jose Mourinho (Portugal/Real Madrid), Cesare Prandelli (Italy/Italy national team)

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