FIFA 30-Strong Short List Announced

FIFA, the worlds soccer governing body released their 30-strong man short list for the 2007 FIFA World Player of the Year Award to be handed out in December. This list is then narrowed down by voters as they select the top 3 players to attend a black tie ceremony in Zurich at the end of the year. Last years winner, Fabio Cannavaro is again among the list of finalists along with two time winner Ronaldinho. The rest of the niminees have never won the award before. The problem I have with this award is that of the 30 nominees, 28 of the 30 play for 8 teams, including 7 from FC Barcelona, 5 from Chelsea FC along with 4 from AC Milan and none of these players play outside of Europe.

This has long been a problem with this award that nobody who plays outside of Europe has ever been in the top flight of finalists. This is again the case this year and some of the nominees have no business being on this list. For instance, Samuel Eto’o of Barcelona and Cameroon was injured most of the year and played in less than half of Barcelona’s La Liga games last year and in only 3 Champions League games. Granted he had 11 goals in 17 games but how does that get him nominated, especially among 6 other teammates? The same goes for Frank Lampard, a former runner up for the award. He had a so so season and wasn’t very good for Chelsea in the Champions League last year or England and was far overshadowed by his teammates Drogba and Captain John Terry.

I understand that the top 4 leagues in Europe have most of the best players. However, only one player came from a different European League than Italy, England, Spain and Germany and that is Juninho who leads French Champions Lyon. No players came from Portugal or Holland or some of the Eastern block countries all who have decent leagues and certainly credible players in them. It just shows me the bias of FIFA in selecting guys playing in the top leagues and going off their reputations more than anything else. I guess it is like that all over the world but it’s too bad because there is a lot of talent that was overlooked.

The 30 man list is as follows:
Gianluigi Buffon (Italy), Fabio Cannavaro (Italy), Petr Cech (Czech Republic), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Deco (Portugal), Didier Drogba (Ivory Coast), Michael Essien (Ghana), Samuel Eto’o (Cameroon), Gennaro Gattuso (Italy), Steven Gerrard (England), Thierry Henry (France), Juninho (Brazil), Kaka (Brazil), Miroslav Klose (Germany), Philipp Lahm (Germany), Frank Lampard (England), Rafael Marquez (Mexico), Lionel Messi (Argentina), Alessandro Nesta (Italy), Andrea Pirlo (Italy), Franck Ribery (France), Juan Roman Riquelme (Argentina), Ronaldinho (Brazil), Wayne Rooney (England), John Terry (England), Carlos Tevez (Argentina), Lilian Thuram (France), Fernando Torres (Spain), Ruud van Nistelrooy (Netherlands), Patrick Vieira (France)

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  1. Rooney shouldn’t be on this list either but they have too many players-they should just have a 10 man preliminary list.

  2. It diesn’t matter because Kaka will run away with it

  3. I think C. Ronaldo will win

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