Canada's Sinclair named finalist for FIFA award
Spain dominates list of best players
Seven players from Spain's World Cup-winning team. including Barcelona's Andres Iniesta, David Villa and Xavi Hernandez, were nominated Tuesday for the 2010 FIFA Ballon d'Or world player of the year award.
Canadian striker Christine Sinclair made the 10-woman nominations list. The 27-year-old from Burnaby, B.C., has scored 102 goals in 140 international appearances.
The men's 23-player list also has three players who starred both at the World Cup and for their club last season: Golden Ball winner Diego Forlan of Uruguay and Europa League winner Atletico Madrid; Wesley Sneijder of the runner-up Dutch and European champion Inter Milan; and Thomas Mueller of Germany and Bayern Munich, who was top scorer and voted best young player in South Africa.
The past two winners — Lionel Messi of Argentina and Barcelona and Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal and Real Madrid — are nominated despite disappointing World Cup campaigns.
The 2007 winner Kaka is left off the list, which includes of his Brazil teammates Daniel Alves of Barcelona, and Inter Milan pair Julio Cesar and Maicon.
Chelsea's Ivory Coast forward Didier Drogba and Arsenal's Spanish midfielder Cesc Fabregas are among the three English Premier League players nominated.
The award, formerly known as the FIFA World Player of the Year, is being staged jointly for the first time by FIFA and France Football magazine, which first presented the original Ballon d'Or in 1956.
Votes will be cast by captains and head coaches of men's and women's national teams plus invited journalists.
Three finalists will be announced Dec. 6, and the winner named at a ceremony in Zurich on Jan. 10.
Among the 10 candidates for the women's world player award are Brazil's Marta and Germany's Birgit Prinz, who have combined to win the past seven titles.
Awards for the best men's and women's coach will be made for the first time.
Spain's Vicente del Bosque is competing for the men's honour with nine rivals including Oscar Tabarez of World Cup semifinalist Uruguay and Jose Mourinho, who won the Champions League with Inter Milan before joining Real Madrid.
The women's list contains Maren Meinert, who led Germany to the Women's Under-20 World Cup title in July, and Albertin Montoya of FC Gold Pride, champion of the United States' Women's Professional Soccer league.
At the January gala, FIFA also will announce a World XI team in conjunction with the FIFPro group of players' unions, the Puskas Award for most beautiful goal of the year, a presidential award and a prize for fair play.