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France Football magazine has released the 50 names in contention for ths year’s Ballon d’Or.

The award, otherwise known as the European Footballer of the Year, is generally regarded as the highest personal accolade in the European game.

However, this year the accolade has evolved to become a World Player of the Year, with players playing outside Europe eligible for the award.

Last year’s World Cup winning captain Fabio Cannavaro won the 2006 award and he is again in the running for the 2007 prize.

List of candidates
Eric Abidal (Barcelona), France.
Daniel Alves (Sevilla), Brazil.
David Beckham (LA Galaxy), England.
Dimitar Berbatov (Tottenham), Bulgaria.
Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Italy.
Fabio Cannavaro (Real Madrid), Italy.
Iker Casillas (Real Madrid), Spain.
Petr Cech (Chelsea), Czech Republic.
Rogerio Ceni (San Paolo), Brazil
Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United), Portugal.
Deco (Barcelona), Portugal.
Mahamadou Diarra (Real Madrid), Mali.
Diego (Werder Bremen), Brazil.
Didier Drogba (Chelsea), Ivory Coast.
Michael Essien (Chelsea), Ghana.
Samuel Eto’o (Barcelona), Cameroon.
Francesc Fabregas (Arsenal), Spain.
Gennaro Gattuso (Milan), Italy.
Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), England.
Ryan Giggs (Manchester United), Wales.
Thierry Henry (Barcelona), France.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Inter), Sweden.
Filippo Inzaghi (Milan), Italy.
Kaka (Milan), Brazil.
Frederic Kanoute (Sevilla), Mali.
Miroslav Klose (Bayern Munich), Germany.
Younis Mahmoud (Algharafa), Iraq.
Paolo Maldini (Milan), Italy.
Florent Malouda (Chelsea), France.
Lionel Andres Messi (Barcelona), Argentina.
Shunsuke Nakamura (Celtic), Japan.
Guillermo Ochoa (America Mexico), Mexico.
Andrea Pirlo (Milan), Italy.
Ricardo Quaresma (Porto), Portugal.
Raul (Real Madrid), Spain.
Franck Ribery (Bayern Munich), France.
Juan Roman Riquelme (Villarreal), Argentina.
Robinho (Real Madrid), Brazil.
Ronaldinho (Barcelona), Brazil.
Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), England.
Paul Scholes (Manchester United), England.
Clarence Seedorf (Milan), Holland.
Carlos Tevez (Manchester United), Argentina.
Luca Toni (Bayern Munich), Italy.
Kolo Toure (Arsenal), Ivory Coast.
Fernando Torres (Liverpool), Spain.
Francesco Totti (Roma), Italy.
Ruud van Nistelrooy (Real Madrid), Holland.
Robin van Persie (Arsenal), Holland.
David Villa (Valencia), Spain.

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