Zizou makes Fifa shortlist
By Tom Adams
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Fabio Cannavaro, Ronaldinho or Zinedine Zidane could be World Player of the Year.
Fabio Cannavaro, Ronaldinho and Zinedine Zidane have made the shortlist for the 2006 Fifa World Player of the Year award.
Votes cast by the manager and captain of all the 207 national teams have determined the three names in the frame for the coveted prize, with Ronaldinho believed to be the frontrunner to take the award.
The Brazilian magician won both La Liga and the UEFA Champions League with Barcelona last season, and, if crowned, would become the first player to win the award on three successive occasions.
However competition comes in the shape of Italy's World Cup winning captain Fabio Cannavaro, who was recently awarded the Ballon d'Or after being named European Footballer of the Year.
The Real Madrid defender, who won Serie A with Juventus before the Bianconeri were stripped of their title, will be aiming to follow in the footsteps of Ronaldinho by claiming both of the game's top individual awards in the same year.
Former French international Zidane is the final contender, and a somewhat surprising one given that his last action in his professional career was to receive a red card for headbutting Marco Materazzi in Les Bleus' World Cup final defeat in June.
If named the globe's best player at an awards gala in Zurich on Monday 18th December, the former Real Madrid and Juventus hero will become the first player to receive the award on four separate occasions.
However former international colleague Thierry Henry has again been snubbed in the end-of-year awards ceremonies after coming third in the Ballon d'Or race, despite reaching both the World Cup and UEFA Champions League final over the past 12 months.
Fifa's Women's World Player of the Year award will go to one of United States international Kristine Lilly, German midfielder Renate Lingor or Brazilian star Marta.