2006 Ballon d’or NomineesBy: Bob | October 17th, 2006
The powers that be have been busy lately putting together shortlists that are anything but short. Last week we learned the 30 names of the finalists for FIFA’s Player of the Year Award. Today, we learned the 50 names (yes, 50) of the finalists for the Ballon d’or – the prize awarded to the top European Footballer of the Year.
A quick scan at the not so shortlist shows that the same players nominated for the FIFA award are also up for Ballon d’or. In addition to cutting and pasting from one list to another, the panel of European journalists has included additional players like Everton’s Tim Cahill. Yes, that Tim Cahill. What he is doing even sniffing a list of the top 50 footballers in Europe is a question I can’t answer, but I can answer the question as to who should win this award.
My choice is once again Fabio Cannavaro. He was the best player in the world last year in my view and since he plays in Europe he must have also been the best player there as well.
The Ballon d’or will be handed out on November 27. Go ahead and cast your vote now before an even longer list of players in unveiled for yet another award. The full list on nominees is below.
Michael Ballack (Chelsea), Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Tim Cahill (Everton), Fabio Cannavaro (Real Madrid), Joe Cole (Chelsea), Gregory Coupet (Lyon), Cristiano Cris (Lyon), Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United), Deco (Barcelona), Mahamadou Diarra (Real Madrid), Didier Drogba (Chelsea), Michael Essien (Chelsea), Samuel Eto’o (Barcelona), Cesc Fabregas (Arsenal), William Gallas (Arsenal), Gennaro Gattuso (AC Milan), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Ludovic Giuly (Barcelona), Fabio Grosso (Inter Milan), Thierry Henry (Arsenal), Juninho (Lyon), Kaka (AC Milan), Miroslav Klose (Werder Bremen), Philipp Lahm (Bayer Munich), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), Jens Lehmann (Arsenal), Claude Makelele (Chelsea), Florent Malouda (Lyon), Edison Mendez (PSV Eindhoven), Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Andrea Pirlo (AC Milan), Lukas Podolski (Bayern Munich), Carles Puyol (Barcelona), Franck Ribery (Marseille), Ronaldinho (Barcelona), Juan Roman Riquelme (Villarreal), Arjen Robben (Chelsea), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Willy Sagnol (Bayern Munich), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich), Andriy Shevchenko (Chelsea), John Terry (Chelsea), Lilian Thuram (Barcelona), Tiago (Lyon), Luca Toni (Fiorentina), Fernando Torres (Atletico Madrid), Patrick Vieira (Inter Milan), David Villa (Valencia), Gianluca Zambrotta (Barcelona), Zinedine Zidane (Retired).