Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson and his star striker Wayne Rooney have both been shortlisted in the 2011 individual awards categories hosted by FIFA and France Football magazine.
The aforementioned Manchester United manager is shortlisted alongside Jose Mourinho and Josep Guardiola for the 2011 FIFA Coach of the Year award, while Old Trafford talisman Rooney is in the running for the best goal of the season.
Manchester won the Premier League title last season, their 12th of Ferguson's remarkable Old Trafford tenure, and reached the Champions League final where they succumbed to fellow nominee Guardiola and his superb Barcelona outfit. The aforementioned duo will be rivalled by Mourinho, who won the Copa Del Rey with Real Madrid.
Wayne Rooney's stunning overhead kick for Manchester United during last season's Manchester derby at Old Trafford is one of the three goals shortlisted for the best goal of the year. The others are Messi's superb finish against Arsenal in the Champions League and Neymar's brilliant individual goal for Santos in July.
Barcelona duo Xavi and Lionel Messi are battling Manchester United legend and current Real Madrid megastar Cristiano Ronaldo in the shortlist to win the Ballon d'Or.
The defending champion Lionel Messi, who won the inaugural award last year after the merger of France Football's Ballon d'Or and FIFA's World Player of the Year awards combined, is the red-hot favourite following yet another vintage season at the Nou Camp. The diminutive Argentine has scored a staggering 53 goals in all competitions for the La Liga giants during a season in which Barcelona won the Primera Division and memorably the Champions League, beating Manchester United in the final at Wembley.
Messi's club colleague Xavi was arguably just as influential in Barcelona's domestic and European domination of honours, and such is his all-encompassing influence on Pep Guardiola's much vaunted side, he was recently lauded by Johan Cruyff as a more worthy recipient than his Barcelona teammate.
"It all depends on how you see football." The Holland icon explained recently. "Xavi for me does not deserve it because he is the best, but because he is a player that makes a team in which others can develop."
Joining the two leading lights from Barcelona is Real Madrid talisman and former Manchester United number seven Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Portuguese international, who left Manchester United in a world record £80 million deal, matched the goal-getting exploits of Messi with 53 in all competitions for Real Madrid in 2011.
The previously mentioned Manchester United pair will find out if they have pipped their La Liga counterparts when the winners are announced at an awards ceremony in Zurich on January 9.