Cahill up for world player of year award - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Cahill up for world player of year award

By Chris Lines 17/10/2006 10:21:45 PM Comments (0)

Socceroo star Tim Cahill is among the nominees for the prestigious Ballon D'Or award for the European footballer of 2006.

Cahill's heroics with Australia at the World Cup and his consistent form with English Premier League club Everton has seen him named among the 50 nominees.

He shares a nomination with the cream of international football, from Ronaldinho and Wayne Rooney to Italian World Cup winning captain Fabio Cannavaro to the now retired Zinedine Zidane.

Cahill is the only nominee from the Asian region.

Also among the nominees is Internazionale's Fabio Grosso - the Italian full-back whose fall in the penalty area ended the Socceroos' World Cup campaign.

Cahill kick-started Australia's World Cup run when he came on as a substitute to score twice against Japan, rallying the team from behind and ultimately enabling the Socceroos to reach the knock-out stages.

The nomination is a credit to Cahill's stamina, as he has played non-stop at the top level for Australia and Everton for more than two years.

Since returning from the World Cup, he has been in impressive form for Everton, scoring five goals from ten games.

"It's a fabulous achievement," Everton manager David Moyes said of Cahill's nomination.

"All credit to Tim for the way that he has been playing and he has returned to top form this season.

"He has started the season really well for us."

Cahill began his professional career in England with Millwall, being a key component of the now struggling London club's ascent to the fringes of promotion to the Premier League and scored the winning goal in the 2004 FA Cup final, before moving to Everton.

The nomination is also credit to Cahill's persistence in his attempts to be allowed to play for Australia, after FIFA initially blocked his path because he had played at junior level for Western Samoa.

The Ballon d'Or has been awarded by France Football magazine since 1956 to honour the best player of the year.

Along with the official FIFA player of the year and World Soccer magazine's player of the year, it is regarded as the leading recognition of individual players.

The 2006 nominees are:

Michael Ballack, Germany, Bayern Munich/Chelsea

Gianluigi Buffon, Italy, Juventus

Tim Cahill, Australia, Everton

Fabio Cannavaro, Italy, Juventus/Real Madrid

Andriy Shevchenko, Ukraine, Milan/Chelsea

Joe Cole, England, Chelsea

Gregory Coupet, France, Lyon

Cris, Brazil, Lyon

Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal, Manchester United

Deco, Portugal, Barcelona

Mahamadou Diarra, Mali, Lyon/Real Madrid

Didier Drogba, Ivory Coast, Chelsea

Michael Essien, Ghana, Chelsea

Samuel Eto'o, Cameroon, Barcelona

Cesc Fabregas, Spain, Arsenal

William Gallas, France, Chelsea/Arsenal

Gennaro Gattuso, Italy, Milan

Steven Gerrard, England, Liverpool

Ludovic Giuly, France, Barcelona

Fabio Grosso, Italy, Palermo/Internazionale

Thierry Henry, France, Arsenal

Juninho, Brazil, Lyon

Kaka, Brazil, Milan

Miroslav Klose, Germany, Werder Bremen

Philipp Lahm, Germany, Bayern Munich

Frank Lampard, England, Chelsea

Jens Lehmann, Germany, Arsenal

Claude Makelele, France, Chelsea

Florent Malouda, France, Lyon

Edison Mendez, Ecuador, LDU Quito/PSV Eindhoven

Lionel Messi, Argentina, Barcelona

Andrea Pirlo, Italy, Milan

Lukas Podolski, Germany, Koln/Bayern Munich

Carles Puyol, Spain, Barcelona

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