Wednesday, 29 November 2006

Cannavaro makes FIFA three

Fabio Cannavaro could add the FIFA World Player of the Year award to his Golden Ball after he was named as one of the three remaining candidates.

The Italy captain has made the final shortlist along with 2005 winner Ronaldinho and the now retired Zinedine Zidane.

The winner of the prestigious honour will be revealed on 18 December. It is voted for by the coach and captain of all 207 national teams, who each pick their top three players of the year.

Cannavaro was this week crowned as Europe’s top player after he beat Gianluigi Buffon and Thierry Henry to the France Football honour.

Barcelona and Brazil forward Ronaldinho is once again a frontrunner after winning it for the last two years.

Zidane, who retired from football following his red card in the World Cup final last summer, could pick up the award for a fourth time, having claimed it in 1998, 2000 and 2003.

Cannavaro, who had never made the final shortlist before, would become the first defender to win the trophy and only the second Italian player after Roberto Baggio in 1993.

The Zurich presentation ceremony will also include prizes for outstanding performances at the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

The tournament’s three best players – Zidane, Cannavaro and Andrea Pirlo – and three top scorers – Miroslav Klose, Hernan Crespo and Ronaldo – will be presented with awards too. Brazil and Spain will receive recognition for their Fair Play during the tournament and Buffon will be applauded for being named as the World Cup’s best ‘keeper.

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