Wayne Rooney is the only English player to be included in the 23-man shortlist for the 2011 Ballon d’Or award.


Lionel Messi is currently the holder of the honour, which is the most prestigious individual award in world football.


A mammoth eight players from Barcelona have been nominated, with former Arsenal skipper Cesc Fabregas amongst them. Gerard Pique, Dani Alves, Lionel Messi, Eric Adibal, Andres Iniesta, David Villa and Xavi are also shortlisted.


Real Madrid, meanwhile, have five players nominated, with Cristiano Ronaldo, who played for United when he won the award in 2009, included.


If Rooney wins the award, he will be the first Englishman to take the the trophy in 10 years, with Michael Owen the last to win it in 2001.


Sir Alex Ferguson has also been nominated in the coach of the year category, which includes Arsene Wenger and Andre Villas-Boas.

The nominations cap off a particularly successful season for United, with the side winning the Barclays Premier League title and coming painfully close to claiming the Champions League trophy for the second time in three years.


Player nominees: Eric Abidal (France), Sergio Aguero (Argentina), Karim Benzema (France), Iker Casillas (Spain), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Dani Alves (Brazil), Samuel Eto'o (Cameroon), Cesc Fabregas (Spain), Diego Forlan (Uruguay), Andres Iniesta (Spain), Lionel Messi (Argentina), Thomas Muller (Germany), Nani (Portugal), Neymar (Brazil), Mesut Ozil (Germany), Gerard Pique (Spain), Wayne Rooney (England), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany), Wesley Sneijder (Netherlands), Luis Suarez (Uruguay), David Villa (Spain), Xabi Alonso (Spain), Xavi (Spain)


Coach nominees: Vicente Del Bosque (Spain/Spain national team), Sir Alex Ferguson (Scotland/Manchester United), Rudi Garcia (France/Lille OSC), Pep Guardiola (Spain/Barcelona), Jurgen Klopp (Germany/Borussia Dortmund), Joachim Low (Germany/Germany national team), Jose Mourinho (Portugal/Real Madrid), Oscar Tabarez (Uruguay/Uruguay national team), Andre Villas-Boas (Portugal/FC Porto, Chelsea), Arsene Wenger (France/Arsenal)


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