Rooney again alone among English players on shortlist

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The Independent Online

The Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney is for the second year running the only Englishman to be included on the 23-man shortlist for the Ballon D'Or.

Rooney has scored 25 goals in 2012 but did not pick up any trophies with his club and played a limited role at the European Championship for England, who were eliminated at the quarter-final stage.

Manchester City, the Premier League champions, have three players on the list – Sergio Aguero, Mario Balotelli and Yaya Touré. Robin van Persie, the division's highest scorer last term with Arsenal who joined Rooney, pictured, at United in the summer, is also included.

Both United manager Sir Alex Ferguson and City's Roberto Mancini have been nominated in the coach of the year category, along with Roberto Di Matteo, who led Chelsea to Champions League and FA Cup wins, and Vicente del Bosque, who guided Spain to the Euro 2012 title.

Didier Drogba, the former Chelsea striker, has also been recognised. The 2011 winner Lionel Messi and runner-up Cristiano Ronaldo are also both shortlisted.

Player nominees:

Sergio Aguero (Argentina), Xabi Alonso (Spain), Mario Balotelli (Italy), Karim Benzema (France), Gianluigi Buffon (Italy), Sergio Busquets (Spain), Iker Casillas (Spain), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Didier Drogba (Ivory Coast), Radamel Falcao (Colombia), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden), Andres Iniesta (Spain), Lionel Messi (Argentina), Manuel Neuer (Germany), Neymar (Brazil), Mesut Ozil (Germany), Gerard Pique (Spain), Andrea Pirlo (Italy), Sergio Ramos (Spain), Wayne Rooney (England), Yaya Touré (Ivory Coast), Robin van Persie (Holland), Xavi (Spain).