Cristiano Ronaldo short-listed for FIFA World Player

December 12th, 2008 - 9:58 pm ICT by IANS  

AC MilanLondon, Dec 12 (IANS) Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo could be in line for another major honour after being short-listed for the FIFA World Player of the Year award. The Portugal and Manchester United winger has been nominated alongside Barcelona duo Lionel Messi and Xavi, AC Milan playmaker Kaka and Liverpool striker Fernando Torres.

The players have been put forward by the coaches and captains of national teams from around the world.

Ronaldo was third in last year’s FIFA vote behind Brazilian winner Kaka and Argentinian Messi but is the overwhelming favourite to see off those two to take the award for 2008, which is presented in Zurich Jan 12.

The Portuguese achieved phenomenal success individually and as part of a team last season, winning the Premier League and Champions League with United while scoring 42 goals.

Xavi and Torres enjoyed impressive seasons with their respective clubs but feature among the five largely due to their success at Euro 2008 with Spain.

Kaka, who has failed to impress with Brazil recently while winning no silverware with AC Milan, is regarded as the rank outsider while Messi’s individual brilliance is tempered by a lack of trophies in the last 18 months.

This is the first year five players, rather than three, have been named on the short-list.

England’s Kelly Smith features on the women’s short-list but faces stiff competition from Brazilian pair Marta and Cristiane and Germany’s Birgit Prinz and Nadine Angerer.

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