Barcelona trio contest FIFA world player award

AP, Sunday 9 Jan 2011

The world's finest player is guaranteed to come from the ranks of Barcelona

Iniesa, Xavi and Messi

The Spanish champion provides all three candidates for the FIFA Ballon d'Or award - Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi. Each was taught at Barcelona's youth academy.

The gala ceremony shapes as another victory lap for World Cup winner Spain.

Xavi and Iniesta, who scored the winning goal in the final, are favored over Messi, whose Argentina side lost in the quarterfinals.

National team boss Vicente del Bosque is nominated for the inaugural best men's coach award.

FIFA will also announce the best women's player and coach.

Voting was by national team coaches and captains and selected international journalists.

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