It has been revealed today by FIFA that Manchester United’s strikers Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie have been nominated for the prestigious FIFA Ballon d’Or, which will be awarded on the 7th January 2013 in Zürich. It is certainly about time some of Manchester United’s players got some recognition for their hard work throughout the season.
Robin van Persie who switched to Manchester United this August after refusing to sign a new contract with Arsenal, scored 37 goals in 48 appearances for Arsenal last season and has continued his form for his new club, scoring nine goals in 12 appearances so far in all competitions. For a player 29 and was branded by Arsenal fans as a ‘injury risk’ he has certainly made them look pretty naive.
Wayne Rooney who signed for Manchester United back in August 2004 has been one of the best players for his club in recent seasons. He has continued to dedicate his time for his club, especially since he announced that he himself wanted to leave the club only two years ago. Last season Rooney scored 34 goals in 44 appearances, with him being second top scorer in the Barclays Premier League last season, behind team-mate Robin van Persie.
Both players have well deserved their nominations in the FIFA Ballon d’Or, which has normally been dominated by Real Madrid and former Manchester United player Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona’s Lionel Messi. Undoubtedly one of these two players will ultimately win the award, but it is good to see some Manchester United players being nominated.
The Manchester United strikers will see the following players competing for the FIFA Ballon d’Or:
Sergio Agüero (Argentina – Manchester City), Xabi Alonso (Spain – Real Madrid), Mario Balotelli (Italy – Manchester City), Karim Benzema (France – Real Madrid), Gianluigi Buffon (Italy – Juventus), Sergio Busquets (Spain – Barcelona), Iker Casillas (Spain – Real Madrid), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal – Real Madrid), Didier Drogba (Ivory Coast – Chelsea – Shanghai Shenhua), Radamel Falcao (Columbia - Atlético Madrid), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden – AC Milan – Paris St Germain), Andres Iniesta (Spain – Barcelona), Lionel Messi (Argentina – Barcelona), Manuel Neuer (Germany – Bayern Munich), Neymar (Brazil – Santos), Mesut Oezil (Germany – Real Madrid), Gerard Pique (Spain – Barcelona), Andrea Pirlo (Italy – Juventus), Sergio Ramos (Spain – Real Madrid), Wayne Rooney (England – Manchester United), Yaya Toure (Ivory Coast – Manchester City), Robin van Persie (Netherlands – Arsenal – Manchester United), Hernandez Xavi (Spain – Barcelona).
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has also been nominated for FIFA Coach of the Year. It would be a great achievement for Sir Alex to win this award. He is nearly into his 27th year in charge at Manchester United and has won nearly every trophy his team could compete form. Towards the end of November a statue of him will be unveiled outside the entrance to the stand named after him only last year. He faces the competition from:
Vicente del Bosque (Spain – Spain), Roberto Di Matteo (Italy – Chelsea), Sir Alex Ferguson (Scotland – Manchester United), Pep Guardiola (Spain – Barcelona), Jupp Heynckes (Germany – Bayern Munich), Jürgen Klopp (Germany – Borussia Dortmund), Joachim Loew (Germany – Germany), Jose Mourinho (Portugal – Real Madrid), Roberto Mancini (Italy – Manchester City) and Cesare Prandelli (Italy – Italy).
By Paul Bienkowski