FIFA announce nominees for World Player of the Year 2009
The contenders for this year's FIFA World Player of the Year and FIFA Women's World Player of the Year awards, are Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Andrés Iniesta (Spain), Kaká (Brazil), Lionel Messi (Argentina) and Xavi (Spain). Cristiane (Brazil), Inka Grings (Germany), Marta (Brazil), Birgit Prinz (Germany) and Kelly Smith (England) will contest the women's award, confirmed the official FIFA website.
The gongs will be presented at the Kongresshaus in Zurich, FIFA's home city, on 21 December 2009.
These nominees were confirmed after a poll in which the coaches and captains of men's and women's national teams from around the world voted for candidates from a list drawn up by football experts from the FIFA Football Committee and the FIFA Committee for Women's Football.
In addition FIFA has introduced two new awards.
The FIFA/FIFPro World XI, which will honour the best 11 players of the year as chosen by over 50,000 professional football players from all over the world.
The FIFA Puskás Award, created in honour and in memory of Ferenc Puskás, the captain and star of the Hungarian national team during the 1950s, will be presented to the player - man or woman - who has scored the "most beautiful goal" during the past year.