ZÜRICH LIONEL MESSI is in the running for a fourth consecutive FIFA world player of the year award after being selected on Monday among the 23 candidates for the price of 2012.
Messi and Barcelona teammates Andres Iniesta, Sergio Busquets, Gerard Pique and Xavi Hernandez on the Ballon d'Or shortlist, while archrivals Real Madrid take the lead with six nominees, including the runner-up of last year Cristiano Ronaldo.
Earlier on Monday, was Messi presented with his second Golden Boot award in recognition for scoring the most goals in Europe's domestic leagues last season. A total of seven Spain internationals are in contention after the national team retained its European Championship title in July.
Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney is the only English player on the list.
United teammate Robin van Persie is also included after the Premier League top scorer last season for Arsenal. Italian players feature for the first time in three years as Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli and Juventus duo Andrea Pirlo and Gianluigi Buffon.
Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque will be favorite to win the world coach of the year award, while Roberto Di Matteo who only was an Assistant at the beginning of the year is also on the list of the 10 candidate after leading Chelsea the Champions League and FA Cup trophies.
No current Chelsea player was on the list, although former striker Didier Drogba was included.
Roberto Mancini is included among the managers after steering Manchester City to the Premier League title.
Prandelli, whose team Italy lost to Spain in the final Euro 2012, is also in the running.
Long-serving Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson has been nominated despite not winning a trophy last season. The winner of 2011 Pep Guardiola ó that leaving Barcelona at the end of last season, ó is also on the list.
The leading three candidates from each list will be announced Nov. 29 in Brazil, with the winners presented at a televised ceremony in Zurich on 7 January
Voting is by national team coaches and captains and journalists invited by joint organizer "France Football" magazine.