Soccer's world governing body FIFA
published its shortlist for this year's World Player of the Year award
on Thursday, with Brazilians featuring heavily.
The world champions have seven on the list of 30, including Real Madrid
trio Robinho, Roberto Carlos and Ronaldo, last year's winner Ronaldinho
of Barcelona, Inter Milan's Adriano and Cafu and Kaka of AC Milan.
England is the second most represented nation with Real Madrid's David
Beckham, Liverpool's Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard of Chelsea and
Manchester United's Wayne Rooney all included.
Four African players are in the running, including Chelsea's Ivory Coast
international Didier Drogba and his team mate Michael Essien of Ghana.
Only five of the 30 are on the shortlist for the first time with Essien
and Robinho joined by fellow debutants Juan Roman Riquelme (Villareal),
Arjen Robben (Chelsea) and Jay-Jay Okocha (Bolton Wanderers).
The winner will be announced in Zurich on December 19.