It’s not really a surprise since they won the World Cup, but Spain have no less than seven first team members nominated for world player of the year by the new Ballon d’Or (Golden Ball), which is now not only for European players, but for everyone.

The full list consists of: Xabi Alonso (Spain), Daniel Alves (Brazil), Iker Casillas (Spain), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Didier Drogba (Ivory Coast), Samuel Eto’o (Cameroon), Cesc Fabregas (Spain), Diego Forlan (Uruguay), Asamoah Gyan (Ghana), Andres Iniesta (Spain), Julio Cesar (Brazil), Miroslav Klose (Germany), Philipp Lahm (Germany), Maicon (Brazil), Lionel Messi (Argentina), Thomas Muller (Germany), Mesut Ozil (Germany), Carles Puyol (Spain), Arjen Robben (Holland), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany), Wesley Sneijder (Holland), David Villa (Spain) and Xavi (Spain).

It’s quite the solid list, and I don’t thin anyone can have big complains about it. For the first time in a long while, there are no English, Italian or French players, which makes sense, considering how horrible these countries performed at the world cup. The only player I’m not quite sure belongs on that list is Asamoah Gyan, who was more of an inspirational talisman at the World Cup than a real world-beater. He still can’t break into the first team at Sunderland this season. Perhaps France’s Malouda would have been a better inclusion, though he’s only real been on top form this season for Chelsea.

As for who is going to win the whole thing…I think Iker Casillas might have a shot. He has secured his place as the world’s best goalkeeper, and is a great leader both for Spain and Real Madrid. Most importantly, he is rarely out of form and performs both for club and country, and very few other players can say the same.

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