Man United quartet nominated for European player of year award

Manchester United and Chelsea have a total of seven nominees for the European Footballer of the Year award, organisers announced today.

United's impressive Champions League and Premier League triumph last season has earned four players nominations, with Wayne Rooney, Nemanja Vidic, Cristiano Ronaldo and keeper Edwin Van Der Sar all making the shortlist for the Ballon d'Or.

Champions League runners-up Chelsea earned three nominations in Frank Lampard, Michael Ballack and Didier Drogba.

The Ballon d'Or shortlist is compiled by France Football magazine and is based on nominations from football writers around the globe.

Spain, who won Euro 2008, is the best represented country with seven players, including Liverpool striker Fernando Torres.

Torres, who scored Spain's winner in the final against Germany, told sports daily L'Equipe: "Winning the Ballon d'Or would be like scaling Mount Everest."

France's top league goalscorer Karim Benzema and German player of the year Franck Ribery made the final list, but there was no place for Thierry Henry - the first time he has been omitted since 2000.

Last year's winner Brazilian Kaka also made the list, with this year's winner to be announced on December 2.

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)

AFP

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