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Sunday, October 19, 2008

Nominees for European Footballer of the Year 2008 Announced

Manchester United is the defending champion of English Premier League as well as UEFA Champions League. Now, Manchester United’s dominance both in premier league as well as in Europe has been reflected in the recently unveiled shortlist for the European Player of the Year Award. Four United players have been nominated for this year’s Ballon d'Or. The players who made it to the shortlist for the European Footballer of the Year Award are Wayne Rooney, Nemanja Vidic, Cristiano Ronaldo and goal keeper Edwin Van Der Sar. There is no doubt, all these four players played a crucial role behind United’s double triumph last season. Here, I am giving the names of the players who got nomination for this award from AFP:

Shortlist (country, club):

Emmanuel Adebayor (Togo, Arsenal), Sergio Aguero (Argentina, Atletico Madrid), Andrey Arshavin (Russia, Zenit St Petersburg), Michael Ballack (Germany, Chelsea), Karim Benzema (France, Lyon), Gianluigi Buffon (Italy, Juventus), Iker Casillas (Spain, Real Madrid), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal, Manchester United), Didier Drogba (Ivory Coast, Chelsea), Samuel Eto'o (Cameroon, Barcelona), Cesc Fabregas (Spain, Arsenal), Steven Gerrard (England, Liverpool), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden, Inter Milan), Kaka (Brazil, AC Milan), Frank Lampard (England, Chelsea), Lionel Messi (Argentina, Barcelona), Pepe (Portugal, Real Madrid), Sergio Ramos (Spain, Real Madrid), Franck Ribery (France, Bayern Munich), Wayne Rooney (England, Manchester United), Marcos Senna (Spain, Villarreal), Luca Toni (Italy, Bayern Munich), Fernando Torres (Spain, Liverpool), Edwin van Der Sar (Netherlands, Manchester United), Rafael Van Der Vaart (Netherlands, Real Madrid), Ruud van Nistelrooy (Netherlands, Real Madrid), Nemanja Vidic (Serbia, Manchester United), David Villa (Spain, Valencia), Xavi (Spain, Barcelona), Yuri Zhirkov (Russia, CSKA Moscow)

There are 30 players from 16 different clubs across the Europe in the shortlist for the most prestigious individual award in European football. Real Madrid has highest five players nominated for the award from a single club. All the 16 clubs are from six different countries. Besides Real Madrid’s 5 and Manchester United’s 4, there are three players from Chelsea and Barcelona each, while three clubs- Arsenal, Liverpool and Bayern Munich- provided 2 players each in the shortlist.

Cristiano Ronaldo seems to be the most favorite for this year’s award. Ronaldo scored highest goals in both premier league as well as Champions league last season. Last year, the award was honored to AC Milan’s Kaka. This year’s award will be announced on 2 December. Now, let us see who is the person to be awarded Ballon d'Or this year? Who is your favorite from the shortlist?

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