Monday 19 November 2012
Two Barclays Premier League goalkeepers are among the five shortlisted by FIFA and FIFPro for their annual World XI squad.
Joe Hart, of the Barclays Premier League champions Manchester City, and Chelsea's Petr Cech, whose saves helped to bring the club their first UEFA Champions League triumph, as well as the FA Cup, will be looking to prevent Real Madrid's Iker Casillas from winning for the fifth time in a row.
Also on the list are Bayern Munich's Manuel Neuer and Juventus's Gianuigi Buffon.
The winner will be announced at the FIFA Ballon d'Or Gala on 7 January next year.
Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew fears that he could be without Yohan Cabaye until the new year. The midfielder injured his groin on international duty with France last week.
"Cabaye looks like he could be out four to six weeks," Pardew told the Evening Chronicle. "Cabaye might possibly have to have a little surgery on that groin. It could be we run all the way to the end of January before I have my first team to pick from."
The concern for Pardew is when Cabaye gets fully fit, he will not be able to select a first-choice midfield because Cheick Tiote is likely to be involved in African Cup of Nations duty with the Ivory Coast.
"When Cabaye comes back, Cheick will be gone," Pardew said. "It is tough for us at the minute.
"You have seasons when you lose players and you have to be able to cope with it. If I had everybody available then losing Cabaye would not be such a blow. At the minute we cannot afford to lose anybody."