The 30-member shortlist of the Ballon d’Or award for 2008 has been announced and although the usual suspects are all there, a couple of the biggest names in world football have been left out.
Both Ronaldinho and Thierry Henry have been ignored from the 30-memmber list but that doesn’t come as a surprise. While the Brazilian international midfield ace suffered his most torid season in 2007-2008, Henry too failed to discover his usual form in his first season in La Liga for Catalan giants FC Barcelona.
The likes of Kaka, Sergio Aguero, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are all there. The winner of the prestigious award shall be chosen in a poll conducted among 96 journalists from around the world by the France Football magazine.
These are the players who have been shortlisted for the European Player of the Year 2008 award:
Emmanuel Adebayor (Arsenal), Togo. Sergio Agüero (Atletico Madrid), Argentine. Andreï Archavine (Zénith Saint-Pétersbourg), Russia. Michael Ballack (Chelsea), Germany. Karim Benzema (Lyon), France. Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus Turin), Italy. Iker Casillas (Real Madrid), Spain. Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United), Portugal. Didier Drogba (Chelsea), Ivory Coast. Samuel Eto’o (FC Barcelone), Cameroon. Cesc Fabregas (Arsenal), Spain. Fernando Torres (Liverpool FC), Spain. Steven Gerrard (Liverpool FC), England. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Inter Milan), Sweden. Kaka (Milan AC), Brazil. Frank Lampard (Chelsea), England. Lionel Messi (FC Barcelone), Argentina. Pepe (Real Madrid), Portugal. Franck Ribéry (Bayern Munich), France. Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), England. Marcos Senna (Villarreal), Spain. Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Spain. Luca Toni (Bayern Munich), Italy. Edwin van der Sar (Manchester United), Netherlands. Rafael van der Vaart (Hamburg SV puis Real Madrid), Netherlands. Ruud van Nistelrooy (Real Madrid), Netherlands. Nemanja Vidic (Manchester United), Serbia. David Villa (Valence CF), Spain. Xavi (FC Barcelone), Spain. Youri Zhirkov (CSKA Moscou), Russia.