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21.10.2007 14:40

Six Barça players shortlisted for Balon d’Or

David Puig

Six FC Barcelona players are in the 50 man shortlist for the Balon d’Or award: Abidal, Deco, Eto’o, Henry, Messi and Ronaldinho. Only AC Milan can match Barça in terms of the number of nominees.

France Football has announced the names of the 50 players shortlisted for the Balon d’Or award that is voted for by the prestigious magazine’s correspondents. FC Barcelona and Milan both have six players in the list, with Abidal, Deco, Eto’o, Henry, Messi and Ronaldinho of Barcelona competing with the European champion’s Gatusso, Inzaghi, Maldini, Pirlo, Seedorf and Kaká, the latter being the bookies favourite to take the accolade, along with Leo Messi. Arsenal’s in form Cesc Fábregas, a product of the Barça youth system, has also been named in the list.

Three Barça repeats

Messi, Eto’o and Ronaldinho were all named in last year’s list (as was Henry, but as an Arsenal player), while Abidal and Deco were not. The name of the winner will be announced on December 2 on TF 1’s programme “Telefoot”. The biggest change this year has been the inclusion of players that do not compete in European leagues, which this year are Rogerio Ceni (Sao Paulo, Brazil), Younis Mahmoud (Algharafa, Iraq) and Guillermo Ochoa (América, Mexico).
Six Barça players shortlisted for Balon d’Or
Ronaldinho, the last Barça winner
FC Barcelona players have won the Balon d’Or five times since the award was created in 1956. Luis Suárez was the first in 1960, while Ronaldinho, in 2005 was the last. The other 3 Barça players to have been recognised by France Football were Rivaldo (1999), Hristo Stoichkov (1994) and Johan Cruyff (1973 and 1974).

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