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Posted at 12:03 PM ET, 12/ 6/2010

Poll: FIFA player and coach of the year

By Steve Goff

The finalists for the FIFA Ballon d'Or award for the best player of 2010 were announced today -- all three are from some little club in the Catalan region and two helped Spain win its first World Cup title:

FC Barcelona MF Andres Iniesta (Spain)
FC Barcelona MF Xavi Hernandez (Spain)
FC Barcelona F Lionel Messi (Argentina)

FIFA also named the finalists for coach of the year:

Spain national team's Vicente del Bosque (Spain)
FC Barcelona's Pep Guardiola (Spain)
Inter Milan/Real Madrid's Jose Mourinho (Portugal)

The winners will be announced Jan. 10 in Zurich.
Vote in the Insider polls:


By Steve Goff  | December 6, 2010; 12:03 PM ET
Categories:  Argentina, Barcelona, FIFA, Real Madrid, Spain  | Tags:  FC Barcelona, FIFA  
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Next: Tuesday kickaround: Ronaldinho-Galaxy talks, D.C. United, MLS re-entry draft, Virginia's Restrepo, Champions League TV listings

Comments

Messi and Jose (yeah, and that's coming from a huge La Liga fan)

Posted by: Reignking | December 6, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

His recent petulant behavior (even more petulant than usual) plus his team's implosion at Camp Nou have come at the wrong time. A month ago, Jose was a shoo-in. Now, I'd say he's a long shot.

Posted by: glfrazier | December 6, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

The Special One, not so much lately.

Coach del Bosque did well to make a solid and entertaining unit out of some fairly disparate parts. Unity in Spain is a tricky thing, both for the team and the country. Job well done.

Posted by: 22206no1 | December 6, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Luis Aragones did it for Spain, first.

Posted by: Reignking | December 6, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Messi did not win the World Cup. Xavi won it so he's the best (Iniesta is Robin to Xavi's Batman)

Posted by: GeneWells | December 6, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Slightly OT, but looks like the Dynamo are one step closer to building their own stadium...

http://espn.go.com/sports/soccer/news/_/id/5876006/houston-sports-authority-oks-dynamo-stadium

Posted by: Juan-John1 | December 6, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

The best soccer player and coach would be the ones with the largest bribe to FIFA representatives.

Posted by: no_recess | December 6, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Can all 3 players win? They make each other better. Por ejemplo: Messi is not as good with Argentina as he is with Barca.

They need each other. They feed each other. They bleed each other. They heed each other. They lead each other.

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | December 6, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

I voted for Pepe, but how good do you have to be when the three finalists for FIFA Player of the Year are on your squad? Seems to me you just show up.

Posted by: b18bolo | December 6, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Inter wins the treble, and beats Pep's team to do so. Therefore, Jose.

Posted by: OWNTF | December 6, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

All the people who don't actually *watch* Barcelona play, but just watch the goal highlights, pick Messi.

The people who actually watch full Barca games regularly skew towards Xavi, with Messi and Iniesta in a dead heat for second.

Posted by: christopher_a_metzler | December 6, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

It HAS to be Xavi. I saw him mistouch a trap off his shin once (years ago), and it still bounced directly into the path of a running teammate.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | December 6, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

While I think Xavi deserves to win, it is too bad that Wesley Sneijder didn't make the final list.

Posted by: teo_68 | December 6, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

OT: Something that seems very good for the development of our own league, at this Development Academy going on in Phoenix, it seems the MLS Academy teams are the ones playing the best, and scoring the best goals. I say this is such a good thing because that means they're finding the best players, and developing them that much more. Exciting to think about, really.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | December 6, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

From the Insider Facebook page:

Ronaldinho to LA Galaxy talks: Galaxy needs answer from Brazilian soon "to move on with or without him," source tells Insider. Terms of deal essentially settled, but unclear whether Ronaldinho wants to jump to MLS.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | December 6, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

I get the love people have for Messi or Iniesta, but for me Sneijder needed to be among the three finalists. He led Inter to a treble season and Netherlands to the World Cup Final. What else is a player supposed to do?

Posted by: RedDevil1 | December 6, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Hate to admit is about Mourinho, who is increasingly grating, but he does consistently pick well in player selection, and get close to the best out of what he has to work with. Glad to see El Traductor humiliated last month, though (although I confess he was surprisingly gracious in defeat).

Posted by: DCUSince96 | December 6, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

They need each other. They feed each other. They bleed each other. They heed each other. They lead each other.

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor
-------------
Are you a Baptist pastor?

Posted by: benonthehill | December 6, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

I also like Sneijder because he, like so many others, showed RM how dumb they are.

Posted by: Reignking | December 6, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

They need each other. They feed each other. They bleed each other. They heed each other. They lead each other.

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor
-------------
Are you a Baptist pastor?

Posted by: benonthehill


-Or Ric Ocasek?

Posted by: fallschurch1 | December 6, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

I agree with the calls for Sneijder's consideration. He was phenomenal this past year. If he were o the list, he might even get my vote over Messi,

Posted by: fischy | December 6, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

The vote for coach of the year is unfair because Onalfo got fired early and we didn't get to see what he would accomplish over a full season.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | December 6, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

They need each other. They feed each other. They bleed each other. They heed each other. They lead each other.

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor
-------------
Are you a Baptist pastor?

Posted by: benonthehill

-Or Ric Ocasek?

Posted by: fallschurch1 | December 6, 2010 3:27 PM
=======================

Too funny! I remember seeing Ocasek with The Cars back in '78 or '79 (how many SI regulars were even alive then?!) at the Capital Centre, and while they sounded great, they were terribly boring. Never saw them live again.

And I am not a Pastor, though I've played one on TV.

I'm going with Iniesta.

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | December 6, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Xavi, Pep. Xavi is the engine that makes Barca go.

Posted by: DonR19 | December 6, 2010 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Approximately 103 days until United's first 2011 league match!

Posted by: Curious99 | December 6, 2010 9:27 PM | Report abuse

haha joel...
+1

Posted by: DadRyan | December 6, 2010 11:03 PM | Report abuse

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