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Four England players named as 2009 Ballon D'Or nominees


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Real Madrid's record signing Ronaldo leads a list of 30 nominees for this year's Ballon d'Or, that does not include a single player from current world champions Italy.

Ronaldo, 24, won the prestigious award last year and will be one of the favourite for this year's title after a stunning start to his career at the Bernabeu.

The Portuguese has scored nine goals in seven games since joining the Spanish club for a world record ?80 million from Manchester United in the summer.

Ronaldo, who is currently sidelined by an ankle injury, headed Madrid's significant summer spending which also saw them sign Kaka and Karim Benzema - who are both also included in the list.

There is, however, no room for any players from world champions Italy.

Goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon and Luca Toni were the Azzurri's only nominees last year.

European champions Spain are the best represented nation with six players listed, while the Primera Liga boasts the most players from a single league with 12.

The Premier League is next best with 10 players, while Serie A has just four.

Champions League and La Liga winners Barcelona top the list in terms of club representation with six players - Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Thierry Henry, Andres Iniesta, Lionel Messi, Yaya Toure and Xavi.

Chelsea and Manchester United both have three players selected on the list. Chelsea's nominees are England captain John Terry, Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba, while United's selection affords another accolade to 35-year-old midfielder Ryan Giggs, as well as Rooney and Nemanja Vidic.

The Ballon d'Or is an award handed out to the world footballer of the year. It is voted for by journalists and organised by France Football magazine.

The winner will be announced on Dec 1.

The 30-man list of nominees for the 2009 Ballon d'Or:

Premier League>

Arsenal:

Andrey Arshavin

Cesc Fabregas

Chelsea:

Didier Drogba

Frank Lampard

John Terry

Liverpool:

Fernando Torres

Steven Gerrard

Manchester United:

Ryan Giggs

Wayne Rooney

Nemanja Vidic

Primera Liga>

Real Madrid:

Karim Benzema

Kaka

Iker Casillas

Cristiano Ronaldo

Barcelona:

Thierry Henry

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Andres Iniesta

Lionel Messi

Xavi

Yaya Toure

Valencia:

David Villa

Sevilla:

Luis Fabiano

Atletico Madrid:

Diego Forlan

Serie A>

Juventus:

Diego

Inter Milan:

Samuel Eto'o

Julio Cesar

Maicon

Bundesliga>

Wolfsburg:

Edin Dzeko

Bayern Munich:

Franck Ribery

Ligue 1>

Bordeaux:

Yoann Gourcuff

Telegraph

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Real Madrid's record signing Ronaldo leads a list of 30 nominees for this year's Ballon d'Or, that does not include a single player from current world champions Italy.

Ronaldo, 24, won the prestigious award last year and will be one of the favourite for this year's title after a stunning start to his career at the Bernabeu.

The Portuguese has scored nine goals in seven games since joining the Spanish club for a world record ?80 million from Manchester United in the summer.

Ronaldo, who is currently sidelined by an ankle injury, headed Madrid's significant summer spending which also saw them sign Kaka and Karim Benzema - who are both also included in the list.

There is, however, no room for any players from world champions Italy.

Goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon and Luca Toni were the Azzurri's only nominees last year.

European champions Spain are the best represented nation with six players listed, while the Primera Liga boasts the most players from a single league with 12.

The Premier League is next best with 10 players, while Serie A has just four.

Champions League and La Liga winners Barcelona top the list in terms of club representation with six players - Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Thierry Henry, Andres Iniesta, Lionel Messi, Yaya Toure and Xavi.

Chelsea and Manchester United both have three players selected on the list. Chelsea's nominees are England captain John Terry, Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba, while United's selection affords another accolade to 35-year-old midfielder Ryan Giggs, as well as Rooney and Nemanja Vidic.

The Ballon d'Or is an award handed out to the world footballer of the year. It is voted for by journalists and organised by France Football magazine.

The winner will be announced on Dec 1.

The 30-man list of nominees for the 2009 Ballon d'Or:

Premier League>

Arsenal:

Andrey Arshavin

Cesc Fabregas

Chelsea:

Didier Drogba

Frank Lampard

John Terry

Liverpool:

Fernando Torres

Steven Gerrard

Manchester United:

Ryan Giggs

Wayne Rooney

Nemanja Vidic

Primera Liga>

Real Madrid:

Karim Benzema

Kaka

Iker Casillas

Cristiano Ronaldo

Barcelona:

Thierry Henry

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Andres Iniesta

Lionel Messi

Xavi

Yaya Toure

Valencia:

David Villa

Sevilla:

Luis Fabiano

Atletico Madrid:

Diego Forlan

Serie A>

Juventus:

Diego

Inter Milan:

Samuel Eto'o

Julio Cesar

Maicon

Bundesliga>

Wolfsburg:

Edin Dzeko

Bayern Munich:

Franck Ribery

Ligue 1>

Bordeaux:

Yoann Gourcuff

Telegraph

Who do you think is going to take home the award? That's quite a list of players. I think Messi might win it.

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Giggs has to be the most consistent and professional player I've seen so far in my lifetime. On top of it he seems like a genuinely nice guy. He is the perfect ambassador for the sport and deserves everything he gets. I hope he wins this too.

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Giggs has to be the most consistent and professional player I've seen so far in my lifetime. On top of it he seems like a genuinely nice guy. He is the perfect ambassador for the sport and deserves everything he gets. I hope he wins this too.

I agree (Y)

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If the Ballon d'Or was given out for a hard working, professional, gentleman of the game, then Dirk Kuyt would win it. Unlucky Giggs.

Too bad the award goes to the best footballer during the last 12 months, congratulations Lionel Messi.

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By his very high own standards maybe, but for everyone elses he had a splendid season, and the only person who can claim the award louder than Ronaldo is Messi. Or Giggs, but I don't see journalists giving the Ballon d'Or to an "old" player, even if Ryan clearly deserves it, for what he did in his carreer and for his sport.

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