At 7 o'clock this evening, the identity of the winner of the 2012 Ballon D'Or winner will be revealed at the Kongresshaus in Zurich. Leo Messi is the big favourite to win the prestigious award and make history by becoming the first footballer to do so for four years running. The other two finalists contesting the prize, which is decided via votes from national team coaches and captains together with journalists from France Football, are Andrés Iniesta and Cristiano Ronaldo.
If Messi is the favourite to collect the Best Player award, the Best Coach of 2012 award is almost certain to be picked up by Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque. Fellow contenders include former Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola, who arrived in Switzerland yesterday and Jose Mourinho, who won't attend the gala due to work commitments.
The awards ceremony also includes various other prize categories such as the FIFA/FIFPro World XI, as voted by the 50,000 FIFPro professional footballers and this year's team is expected to be dominated by players from Real Madrid and Barcelona. For that reason, representatives from both clubs have been invited to the gala in Zurich.
The Madrid contingent in Switzerland includes Florentino Pérez, Pedro López, Emilio Butragueño, Cristiano Ronaldo, Iker Casillas, Sergio Ramos, Xabi Alonso and Marcelo, while Barcelona will be represented by Sandro Rosell, Bartomeu, Zubizarreta, Sanllehí, Messi, Iniesta, Piqué, Xavi and Jordi Alba.