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Sneijder, Villa, Xavi, Özil & Forlan amongst FIFA Golden Ball nominees

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villa_xavi.jpgToday, the FIFA General Secretary Jérôme Valcke and adidas Group CEO Herbert Hainer officially announced the 10 nominees for the 2010 FIFA World Cup adidas Golden Ball award at a press conference and photo call at adidas PR Headquarters, Jo'bulani Central in Johannesburg. The adidas Golden Ball is the official FIFA trophy for the "Best Player of the Tournament". The ten nominated players were selected by the Technical Study Group of FIFA who include football experts such as Kalusha Bwalya, Christian Karembeu, Jomo Sono and Gérard Houllier.

(click here for the winner)

Nominees for the 2010 FIFA World Cup adidas Golden Ball trophy are: Diego Forlan (URU, 10), Asamoah Gyan (GHA, 3), Andres Iniesta (ESP, 6) , Lionel Messi (ARG, 10), Mesut Özil (GER, 8), Arjen Robben (NED, 11), Bastian Scheweinsteiger (GER, 7), Wesley Sneijder (NED, 10), David Villa (ESP, 7), Xavi (ESP, 8)

FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke comments "The 2010 FIFA World Cup has seen some great team efforts and some fantastic individual performances with stars emerging to show their unique brilliance and flair on the world's greatest sports stage and providing entertainment to millions of football fans around the world. These 10 players truly deserve recognition for their performances by being nominated for the adidas Golden Ball award."

adidas Group CEO, Herbert Hainer added: "The 2010 FIFA World Cup has been a great success for adidas - both in terms of performance of our teams and players on the field of play and in terms of sales. adidas players David Villa, Xavi, Diego Forlan and Bastian Schweinsteiger really left their mark on this World Cup and I am happy to see them among the 10 nominees for the adidas Golden Ball Trophy. Our football business is growing worldwide. We are now expecting record sales of at least 1.5 billion Euro in the football category, thus extending our leading position in the world's biggest sport."

Accredited media representatives will vote to determine the winners of the adidas Golden, Silver and Bronze ball awards on the FIFA Media Channel. The winners will be announced after the final on 11th July.

Golden Ball past winners:

1982 FIFA World Cup Spain: Paolo Rossi (Italy)
1986 FIFA World Cup Mexico: Diego Maradona (Argentina)
1990 FIFA World Cup Italy: Salvatore Schillaci (Italy)
1994 FIFA World Cup USA: Romario (Brazil)
1998 FIFA World Cup France: Ronaldo (Brazil)
2002 FIFA World Cup Korea / Japan: Oliver Kahn (Germany)
2006 FIFA World Cup Germany: Zinedine Zidane (France)

Read about the shortlist for the FIFA Young Player's Award

Photo by 2010 FIFA World Cup Organising Committee South Africa