The prestigious 2012 Golden Foot award to honor the career accomplishments of a player within European football will be handed out later this summer and the list of nominees for the award has already been finalized.
This year’s competition boasts of an exciting group of candidates, from world-class goalkeepers all the way to prolific strikers.
Italy stopper Gianluigi Buffon and Spain captain Iker Casillas headline the list of nominees in the goalkeeper position. In addition to representing their national teams in the Euro 2012 semifinals, both men led their clubs – Juventus and Real Madrid, respectively – to domestic glory in the 2011-12 campaign.
Buffon’s Juve were particularly impressive as they went unbeaten en route to a famous Serie A triumph.
While Buffon is joined on the list by influential Bianconeri teammate Andrea Pirlo, Casillas is accompanied by fellow Real star Kaka.
Spanish representation on the list is further enhanced by the presence of Barcelona aces Xavi Hernandez and Carles Puyol, as well as Madrid legend Raul.
Italian football, meanwhile, also has another representative in the form of former AC Milan legend Clarence Seedorf, who also happens to be the only Dutch player on the list.
Seedorf’s former Rossoneri teammate Zlatan Ibrahimovic is a leading striker on the list.
However, perhaps the favorite to lift this year’s award is Ivory Coast forward Didier Drogba, who has balanced international commitments in the African continent to a storied club career at Chelsea over the last few years.
Drogba most recently guided the Blues to a memorable UEFA Champions League and FA Cup double before moving to the Shanghai Shenhua to begin his contributions to a new continent altogether.
Voting for the competition is open to football (soccer) media and supporters alike by simply clicking here.
The Champions Promenade, who have organized this award ceremony in Monaco, describe it as a special achievement for the nominated players since it is voted upon by an audience that encompasses the entire global football community.
“[Since] the main winner of the prize is voted by fans, it means that Golden Foot is a unique football prize decided by supporters and given by a prince (HSH Albert II of Monaco),” the organizers explained in a statement.
Who is your pick to win the Golden Foot award this year? Make sure to cast your vote and also have your say below!