Fabio Cannavaro has backed Juventus’ Andrea Pirlo or Andres Iniesta of Barcelona to win the 2012 FIFA Ballon d’Or.
The two players are among the 23-man shortlist for the honour whose winner will be announced on January 7.
“Pirlo is a player with extraordinary qualities,” the 2006 victor told France Football. “Not only did he win the Scudetto with Juventus, but he also took Italy to the Final of the European Championship.
“Meanwhile, Iniesta continues to confirm his qualities,” the ex-Italian international captain continued.
“He really is incredible. He is a fundamental player for his club and for Spain.”
The 23-man shortlist in full: Sergio Agüero (Argentina), Xabi Alonso (Spain), Mario Balotelli (Italy), Karim Benzema (France), Gianluigi Buffon (Italy), Sergio Busquets (Spain), Iker Casillas (Spain), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Didier Drogba (Côte d’Ivoire), Radamel Falcao (Colombia), Zlatan Ibrahimović (Sweden), Andrés Iniesta (Spain), Lionel Messi (Argentina), Manuel Neuer (Germany), Neymar (Brazil), Mesut Özil (Germany), Gerard Piqué (Spain), Andrea Pirlo (Italy), Sergio Ramos (Spain), Wayne Rooney (England), Yaya Touré (Côte d’Ivoire), Robin Van Persie (Netherlands), Xavi (Spain).
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition - £5,000 monthly.