Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Race for FIFA award: Nominees released

Five Italy internationals have made the shortlist for the FIFA World Player of the Year award.

Gianluigi Buffon, current World Player of the Year Fabio Cannavaro, Gennaro Gattuso, Alessandro Nesta and Andrea Pirlo are among the 30 players in the running.

AC Milan star Ricardo Kaka’ is the favourite and is on the list along with Inter midfielder Patrick Vieira, who has received a nomination despite recent injury problems

An outstanding year for Francesco Totti, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Luca Toni in Serie A were not surprisingly enough for the trio to be included in the vote for this year’s award.

From the list national team coaches and captains around the world will vote for their top three players, to be revealed at FIFA's World Player Gala in Zurich on 17 December.

Kaka' is the front-runners to win the award for the first time, ahead of Barcelona's Lionel Messi and Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Brazilian, 25, received the FIFPro World Player of the Year title last week - an award voted for by the 45,000 members of the players' union.

He was instrumental in the Rosonerri's UEFA Champions League success last season, sealed with a win over Liverpool in the final, and he was the competition's top scorer with 10 goals.

The full list of nominees:
Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus, Italy), Fabio Cannavaro (Real Madrid, Italy), Petr Cech (Chelsea, Czech Republic), Cristiano Ronaldo (Man Utd, Portugal), Deco (Barcelona, Portugal), Didier Drogba (Chelsea, Ivory Coast), Michael Essien (Chelsea, Ghana), Samuel Eto'o (Barcelona, Cameroon), Gennaro Gattuso (AC Milan, Italy), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool, England), Thierry Henry (Barcelona, France), Juninho Pernambucano (Lyon, Brazil), Ricardo Kaka (AC Milan, Brazil), Miroslav Klose (Bayern Munich, Germany), Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich, Germany), Frank Lampard (Chelsea, England), Rafael Marquez (Barcelona, Mexico), Lionel Messi (Barcelona, Argentina), Alessandro Nesta (AC Milan, Italy), Andrea Pirlo (AC Milan, Italy), Franck Ribery (Bayern Munich, France), Juan Roman Riquelme (Villarreal, Argentina), Ronaldinho (Barcelona, Brazil), Wayne Rooney (Man Utd, England), John Terry (Chelsea, England), Carlos Tevez (Man Utd, Argentina), Lilian Thuram (Barcelona, France), Fernando Torres (Liverpool, Spain), Ruud Van Nistelrooy (Real Madrid, Netherlands), Patrick Vieira (Inter, France).

Source: C4 Football Italia / FIFA

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