Ronaldo in running for prize
By Tom Adams
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Fifa have announced a six-man shortlist for the Gillette Best Young Player award.
Fifa have announced a six-man shortlist for the Gillette Best Young Player award, with controversial Portugal winger Cristiano Ronaldo and Argentina wonderkid Lionel Messi both in contention for their performances at the World Cup finals.
Spain midfielder Cesc Fabregas, Germany hot-shot Lukas Podolski, Swiss star Tranquillo Barnetta and Ecuador's Luis Valencia are the other names in the frame for the prestigious prize in its inaugural year.
Fans have been able to vote from a list of 40 players since the start of the tournament, with Valencia, Ronaldo and Messi topping the poll, whilst the other three members of the shortlist have been nominated by Fifa's Technical Study Group.
Villarreal midfielder Valencia somewhat surprisingly topped the fans' list with a massive 331,087 votes after his country's run to the second round, whilst Ronaldo, currently hitting the headlines after Portugal's defeat of England, polled 241,775 and Barcelona starlet Messi 118,733.
The 14 members of Fifa's Technical Study Group will now deliberate over the final six, with a decision set to be made on Friday.
Fifa will choose the winner based on the criteria of "style, charisma, fair play and appetite for the game, as well as pure technical skill," according to the official World Cup website.