Tuesday November 1 2011
Golden Ball shortlist revealed

There are no Italians and only two Serie A based players in the 23-man shortlist for the 2011 Golden Ball.

Udinese's Serie A top scorer Antonio Di Natale was in the initial 50-man selection, but he has failed to make the cut.

The only Italian interest comes from the Inter duo of Wesley Sneijder and Diego Forlan. Samuel Eto'o, who left the Nerazzurri for Anzhi in the summer, is also there.

Despite winning Serie A last season, there are no Milan players up for the prize. Boss Massimiliano Allegri has also been ignored for the coaching award.

The winners of the two awards will be named at the start of January. Lionel Messi of Barcelona is the favourite to win the Ballon d'Or for the third year running.

Player nominees: Eric Abidal (France), Sergio Aguero (Argentina), Karim Benzema (France), Iker Casillas (Spain), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Dani Alves (Brazil), Samuel Eto'o (Cameroon), Cesc Fabregas (Spain), Diego Forlan (Uruguay), Andres Iniesta (Spain), Lionel Messi (Argentina), Thomas Muller (Germany), Nani (Portugal), Neymar (Brazil), Mesut Ozil (Germany), Gerard Pique (Spain), Wayne Rooney (England), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany), Wesley Sneijder (Netherlands), Luis Suarez (Uruguay), David Villa (Spain), Xabi Alonso (Spain), Xavi (Spain)

Coach nominees: Vicente Del Bosque (Spain/Spain national team), Sir Alex Ferguson (Scotland/Manchester United), Rudi Garcia (France/Lille OSC), Pep Guardiola (Spain/Barcelona), Jurgen Klopp (Germany/Borussia Dortmund), Joachim Low (Germany/Germany national team), Jose Mourinho (Portugal/Real Madrid), Oscar Tabarez (Uruguay/Uruguay national team), Andre Villas-Boas (Portugal/FC Porto, Chelsea), Arsene Wenger (France/Arsenal)

See the latest Serie A predictions and betting tips with