The three-man shortlist for the FIFA World Coach of the Year award was announced by world football’s governing body on Wednesday.
While most of the attention has been focused on the Ballon d’or nominees – namely, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo – there are other big prizes up fro grabs.
However, the Coach of the Year award appears to be as predictable as the players version, where Barcelona star Andres Iniesta joined his team-mate Messi and Real Madrid star Ronaldo in the final three.
La Liga’s two dominant side, unsurprisingly, make up the nominees for the gong going to the main men in the dugout, as Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho is on the list with former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola, while Spain coach and former boss at Santiago Bernabeu Vicente del Bosque is also there.
Guardiola’s presence may have surprised some as he stepped down as manager at Camp Nou in the summer, but his Copa del Rey victory and taking glory in the FIFA Club World Cup at the end of 2011.
Mourinho’s Real Madrid did what many thought was not possible and toppled their rivals from Catalunia from the summit of the Primera Division.
It could well be billed as a race between Mourinho and Guardiola, but Del Bosque’s has a huge case for winning the award after he led the Spain side to an historic third major international trophy in succession.
The 2012 FIFA Coach of the Year award will be presented at the 2012 FIFA Ballon d’Or Gala at FIFA headquarters on January 7.