Rooney and van Persie nominated for 2012 FIFA Ballon d’Or

by Sam Peoples

Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie have been placed on the 23-man shortlist for the 2012 FIFA Ballon d’Or award.

Last season, Robin van Persie was in ferocious form and netted 37 times in 48 appearances for Arsenal, single handedly guiding them to Champions League qualification.

Wayne Rooney, despite not having his best season by his own admission, netted 34 times in 44 appearances for Manchester United.

Now strike partners, the pair are already setting the Premier League alight together and Manchester United are reaping the rewards.

The annual award, which chooses the best footballer in the world from the last 12 months, will be announced on January 7 next year but a preliminary three man shortlist will be drawn up by the end of November.

Votes will be cast by 209 coaches, captains of national teams and 49 journalists from France Football, the magazine that originally created the Ballon d’Or.

Sir Alex Ferguson has also been nominated for the FIFA Coach of the Year award alongside Andre Villas Boas and Roberto Di Matteo

Here are the lists in full:

Sergio Aguero (Argentina, Manchester City), Mario Balotelli (Italy, Manchester City), Karim Benzema (France, Real Madrid), Gianluigi Buffon (Italy, Juventus), Sergio Busquets (Spain, FC Barcelona), Iker Casillas (Spain, Real Madrid), Didier Drogba (Ivory Coast, Chelsea and Shanghai Shenhua), Radamel Falcao (Colombia Atletico Madrid), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden AC Milan, and Paris-SG), Andrés Iniesta (Spain, FC Barcelona), Lionel Messi (Argentina FC Barcelona), Manuel Neuer (Germany, Bayern Munich), Neymar (Brazil, Santos), Mesut Özil (Germany, Real Madrid), Gerard Piqué (Spain FC Barcelona), Andrea Pirlo (Italy, Juventus), Sergio Ramos (Spain, Real Madrid), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal Real Madrid), Wayne Rooney (England, Manchester United), Yaya Toure (Ivory Coast Manchester City), Robin van Persie (Holland, Arsenal and Manchester United), Xabi Alonso (Spain Real Madrid), Xavi Hernandez (Spain, FC Barcelona)

Vicente del Bosque (Spain/Spain national team), Roberto Di Matteo (Italy/Chelsea FC), Alex Ferguson (Scotland/Manchester United FC), Pep Guardiola (Spain/FC Barcelona former coach), Jupp Heynckes (Germany/FC Bayern München), Jürgen Klopp (Germany/Borussia Dortmund), Joachim Löw (Germany/Germany national team), Roberto Mancini (Italy/Manchester City FC), José Mourinho (Portugal/Real Madrid CF), Cesare Prandelli (Italy/Italy national team).

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