Francesco Totti is among eight Italians in the 50 candidates for the Ballon d’Or, but the hot favourite remains Milan star Kaka.
French publication ‘France Football’ this morning announced the shortlist of 50 players for the 2007 edition of the World Player of the Year award – voted for by journalists around the globe.
The award had only been contested between players based in Europe - regardless nationality, but now players from around the globe will be considered.
It is generally considered to be more prestigious than the FIFA World Player of the Year award. Last season both competitions crowned Italy’s World Cup winning captain Fabio Cannavaro.
Cannavaro is again nominated, even though he has struggled to maintain the same form since joining Real Madrid. Other Italians in the running are Gianluigi Buffon – who finished second last term – Gennaro Gattuso, Filippo Inzaghi, Paolo Maldini, Andrea Pirlo, Luca Toni and Totti.
Roma captain Totti was reportedly furious to have been left out of the FIFA list despite winning the Golden Boot as top scorer in Europe last year.
The hot favourite remains Milan’s Brazilian hero Kaka, who was instrumental in their Champions' League triumph with 10 goals.
Also from Serie A are Milan teammate Clarence Seedorf and Zlatan Ibrahimovic of Inter.
The winner will be announced in December.
Ballon d’Or 2007 candidates:
Eric Abidal (Barcelona/France), Daniel Alves (Sevilla/Brazil), David Beckham (LA Galaxy/England), Dimitar Berbatov (Tottenham/Bulgaria), Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus/Italy), Fabio Cannavaro (Real Madrid/Italy), Iker Casillas (Real Madrid/Spain), Petr Cech (Chelsea/Czech Republic), Rogerio Ceni (San Paolo/Brazil),
Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United/Portugal), Deco (Barcelona/Portugal), Mahamadou Diarra (Real Madrid/Mali), Diego (Werder Bremen/Brazil), Didier Drogba (Chelsea/Ivory Coast), Michael Essien (Chelsea/Ghana), Samuel Eto’o (Barcelona/Cameroon), Francesc Fabregas (Arsenal/Spain), Gennaro Gattuso (Milan/Italy), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool/England), Ryan Giggs (Manchester United/Wales), Thierry Henry (Barcelona/France), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Inter/Sweden), Filippo Inzaghi (Milan/Italy), Kaka (Milan/Brazil), Frederic Kanoute (Sevilla/Mali),
Miroslav Klose (Bayern Munich/Germany), Younis Mahmoud (Algharafa/Iraq), Paolo Maldini (Milan/Italy), Florent Malouda (Chelsea/France), Lionel Messi (Barcelona/Argentina), Shunsuke Nakamura (Celtic/Japan), Guillermo Ochoa (America Mexico/Mexico), Andrea Pirlo (Milan/Italy), Ricardo Quaresma (Porto/Portugal), Raul (Real Madrid/Spain), Franck Ribery (Bayern Munich/France), Juan Roman Riquelme (Villarreal/Argentina), Robinho (Real Madrid/Brazil), Ronaldinho (Barcelona/Brazil), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United/England), Paul Scholes (Manchester United/England), Clarence Seedorf (Milan/Netherlands), Carlos Tevez (Manchester United/Argentina), Luca Toni (Bayern Munich/Italy), Kolo Toure (Arsenal/Ivory Coast), Fernando Torres (Liverpool/Spain), Francesco Totti (Roma/Italy), Ruud van Nistelrooy (Real Madrid/Netherlands), Robin van Persie (Arsenal/Netherlands), David Villa (Valencia/Spain).
Source: C4 Football Italia/France Football