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The shortlist for the 2008 Ballon d’Or award has been announced, and there’s a few surprise ommissions as the list is reduced in size.

Most notable perhaps are the absences of AC Milan's Ronaldinho and Barcelona forward Thierry Henry, with the duo both judged on their relatively disappointing season at Camp Nou and internationally.

Ronaldinho endured a torrid season in Barcelona last term, suffering from injury and a loss form, and thus the Brazil international will not have the opportunity to add to the award he won in 2005.

"It's normal, I did not play much in the last season," Ronaldinho told French TV channel TF1.

Similarly, Henry had a difficult first season in Spain following his move from Arsenal, and France were also eliminated from Euro 2008 at the first-round, and so he misses out on the shortlist for the first time since 1999.

They are not the only big-name omissions, with 2006 and 2004 winners Andriy Shevchenko and Fabio Cannavaro both missing, and clearly the lists' reduced size of 30 from 50 players is taking effect.

Unsurprisingly, European Championship winners Spain boast seven players on the list, including Liverpool sensation Fernando Torres and Arsenal’s Cesc Fabregas, while Brazil have just one player, Kaka, of their own.

Champions League and Premier League champions Manchester United have four players in the running, with hot favourite Cristiano Ronaldo, England hero Wayne Rooney,veteran Dutch goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar and defender Nemanja Vidic part of the selected pool.

Meanwhile, fellow Champions League finalists Chelsea have three players of their own among the 30, with Michael Ballack, Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba joining Liverpool’s Steven Gerrard as the English contingency.

The winner will be selected on 2 December when 96 journalists from around the world cast their vote in a poll organised by France Football magazine.

The full list of nominees is as follows (4 United players in it):

Emmanuel Adebayor (Arsenal), Togo.
Sergio Agüero (Atletico Madrid), Argentine.
Andreï Arshavin (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.

http://www.goal.com/en/articolo.aspx?contenutoid=920099
 

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abojodeh said:
emm Rio should be in too


where is Carvalho how the hell Ballack is a nominee while Carv not :confused:
Yeah, it's insane considering that the likes of Pepe & Yuri Zhirkov are ahead of Ricardo Carvalho & Rio!
 

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red_devils4life said:
Yeah, it's insane considering that the likes of Pepe & Yuri Zhirkov are ahead of Ricardo Carvalho & Rio!
they proably chose Pepe cause he scores many goals and in the Fantasy league he would get more points then Rio and Carvalho

The Balloon D'or judges are so stupid that they use Fantasy point to decide the nominees :p
 

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The shortlist is pointless anyway. The year Francesco Totti won the European Golden Shoe, he didn't even make the shortlist!
 

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The glaring omission of Rio Ferdinand is an insult to football.

He has been a colossus for his club,leading the meanest defensive team in England to Premier League and Chamions League glory.

I can't believe the importance the 96 journalists have given to the performances in Euro 2008.

What did Didier Drogba and Rafael van der Vaart do last season?
 

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Pepe is in it because he was instrumental in Madrid's tittle. I totally agree he's not in the same league as carvalho and rio, but remember, this award is based on the year's performance.

Still, i think there's clearly names missing.
 

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Oh give me a break. How in the hell is Drogba in that list? Even Tevez is more deserving of being nominated over him. Rio should be in the list. It'll be a travesty if Ronaldo doesn't win this.
 

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Pepe is in it because he was instrumental in Madrid's tittle. I totally agree he's not in the same league as carvalho and rio, but remember, this award is based on the year's performance.
And Rio wasnt instrumental in Man Utd's PL title and CL title?

Rio > Pepe, in terms of last years performance and in general.
 

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christianoharleiro said:
And Rio wasnt instrumental in Man Utd's PL title and CL title?

Rio > Pepe, in terms of last years performance and in general.
I don't make the lists, i just tell ya what's i thinks ;)

The thing is, even most of the Madrid Afficion scouled (scoffed?) at his signing, they had never heard of him, and he was consistently the best defender in Madrid's games.

I'm just saying his impact was greater on his team, beeing his 1st year and all...
 
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Its between Ronaldo and Torres IMO. Ronaldo was the best in the League and CL, Torres was good in both and won Euro 08 for Spain, can't see beyond these 2. Ronaldo by a nose.
 

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WTH!!!!! Where is Rio, i say this list a couple of days back and i straight away thought well if any united players were in it it had to be Ronny and Rio. He was amazing last season, some of the players on there don't even deserve to be mentioned in the same sentence as him, bloody joke.
 

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WTF did ballack do? score a few good goals and one important penalty against us which meant nothing in the end!!??and an okish EURO 08!!? Ridiculous!!
I have a wierd feeling Torres will win it, 1st season in premier league and scored a bag full of goals, only won the euro but scored the winner..
People seem to vote against ronaldo so i cant see him gettin it...AGAIN , its sad :(
Messi didnt do much apart form entertain crowds in spain...well he won the olympic gold medal but its not even a recognised football medal is it?
i do hope our boy gets it though....and i use the term 'our' very lightly!!
 

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I remember Kaka won it when AC Milan were the champions too. So surely it has got to be Ronaldo with his 42-goal exploit and the Double. Anything less would be a conspiracy.
 

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RedForceRising said:
The glaring omission of Rio Ferdinand is an insult to football.
and what about Del Piero ??

Of course, this year the award is for Ronaldo, even if I'm not his best fan (I prefer Messi).... anything else would be a rubbery
 
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