10 FC Barcelona players and Pep Guardiola could win awards this evening at the 2012 FIFA awards gala

Messi and Iniesta, finalists for the 2012 FIFA Ballon d'Or / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB
Ten first team players, and ex-FC Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola, are in the running for awards this evening at the 2012 FIFA awards gala in Zurich

Messi and Iniesta, in addition to being on the shortlist for the 2012 FIFA Ballon d’Or, could also be named to the FIFA/FIFPro World XI all-star team

Xavi, Cesc, Alves, Piqué, Puyol, Sergio Busquets, Jordi Alba and Mascherano are among the 55 all-star team nominees

FC Barcelona is the team with the most players nominated for the awards that will be given out at the Kongresshaus in Zurich this evening. Among the accolades is the FIFA Ballon d’Or, the award reserved for the best player in the world. Leo Messi and Andrés Iniesta are on the three-man shortlist for the award, Cristiano Ronaldo is also in the running for the distinction. Both Barça players are also on the list of nominees for the all-star FIFA/FIFPro World XI along with teammates Xavi, Cesc, Alves, Piqué, Puyol, Sergio Busquets, Jordi Alba and Mascherano. In addition to the nominated players, ex-FC Barcelona manager Josep Guardiola is nominated for the FIFA Coach of the Year award.

Messi and Iniesta, top three finish for the FIFA Ballon d’Or

For the sixth year in a row Barça will be represented on the finalist podium of the FIFA Ballon d’Or. This year Leo Messi and Andrés Iniesta, along with Cristiano Ronaldo, are vying for the prize. Barça’s Argentine forward has won the last three editions of the Ballon d’Or (2009, 2010 and 2011), and he’s looking to become the first footballer to ever win four. This will be Andrés Iniesta’s second time on the FIFA Ballon d’Or podium, he finished second in 2010. The Spaniard, who won the UEFA Best Player in Europe award in August, could win his first Ballon d’Or this evening.

FC Barcelona’s 10 all-star team candidates

The first order of business during tonight’s gala is the naming of the 2012 FIFA/FIFPro World XI all-star team. Ten FC Barcelona players have been nominated to the team. The first is Messi, in the striker position, followed by Xavi, Iniesta, Cesc and Sergio Busquets, in the midfielder positions, and Puyol, Piqué, Alves, Mascherano and Jordi Alba, in the defender positions.

Guardiola nominated for Coach of the Year award

FC Barcelona will also represented in the 2012 Coach of the Year award category. Pep Guardiola, who managed Barça for four seasons, is a finalist for the accolade along with Spain national coach Vicente del Bosque and Real Madrid manager, José Mourinho.