The shortlist for FIFA’s 2007 World Player of the Year award has been unveiled.
Last year’s winner Fabio Cannavaro features once again alongside fellow World Cup winners Gianluigi Buffon, Gennaro Gattuso, Alessandro Nesta and Andrea Pirlo.
England and France each have four nominations with Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Wayne Rooney and John Terry making up the English contingent, while Thierry Henry, twice a runner-up for the award, is joined by French colleagues Franck Ribery, Lilian Thuram and Patrick Vieira.
Milan’s Brazilian playmaker Kaka, who has already been named 2007 Player of the Year by the professional soccer players’ union FIFPro, is the favourite for this year’s award, with Manchester United winger Cristiano Ronaldo also regarded as a strong contender.
The list is drawn up by members of FIFA’s technical committees and voted on by the coaches and captains of every national team.
The winner will be announced at FIFA’s World Player Gala in Zurich on December 17.
FIFA World Player of the Year nominees:
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)