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Ronaldo, Rooney, Vidic and Van der Sar In Running For Ballon d’Or

Manchester United have four players listed in the top 30 players in Europe, ahead of the Ballon d’Or announcement at the beginning of December. Four of the eleven players from the Premiership belong to Manchester United, which is unsurprising, considering our success in England and Europe last season.

If a Manchester United player does win the award, most obviously Ronaldo, it will be the first time since George Best in 1968. In the past 15 years, United have seen Beckham and Ronaldo finish second and Eric Cantona third.

The last time a player from the English league scooped the award was Michael YSB Owen back in 2001, before his sad, slow decline in to nothingness. Kevin Keegan has won the award in the past, but when he was playing in Germany. This means before Owen in 2001, the last player from our league to win the award was Best in 1968, before him, Sir Bobby Charlton in 1966, and before him, Denis Law in 1964. Stanley Matthews, in 1956, is the only other player in over 50 years of the competition to win the award from the English league. If Ronaldo is to win the Ballon d’Or, is is quite an achievement, when considering the bias against players from our league.

What argument is there for the inclusion of the others? Well in United’s second most successful season of all time, the only times we lost was when Rooney wasn’t on the field. He was also the highest scoring Englishman last season, with the third highest number of assists in the league. Nemanja Vidic and Edwin Van der Sar were both part of the best defence in Europe, with Van der Sar’s European Cup winning penalty save not doing him any harm on that front. One has to wonder why Rio Ferdinand was overlooked though.

Emmanuel Adebayor (Arsenal), Togo.
Sergio Agüero (Atletico Madrid), Argentine.
Andreï Archavine (Zénith Saint-Pétersbourg), Russia.
Michael Ballack (Chelsea), Germany.
Karim Benzema (Lyon), France.
Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus Turin), Italy.
Iker Casillas (Real Madrid), Spain.
Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United), Portugal.
Didier Drogba (Chelsea), Ivory Coast.
Samuel Eto’o (FC Barcelone), Cameroon.
Cesc Fabregas (Arsenal), Spain.
Fernando Torres (Liverpool FC), Spain.
Steven Gerrard (Liverpool FC), England.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Inter Milan), Sweden.
Kaka (Milan AC), Brazil.
Frank Lampard (Chelsea), England.
Lionel Messi (FC Barcelone), Argentina.
Pepe (Real Madrid), Portugal.
Franck Ribéry (Bayern Munich), France.
Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), England.
Marcos Senna (Villarreal), Spain.
Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Spain.
Luca Toni (Bayern Munich), Italy.
Edwin van der Sar (Manchester United), Netherlands.
Rafael van der Vaart (Hamburg SV puis Real Madrid), Netherlands.
Ruud van Nistelrooy (Real Madrid), Netherlands.
Nemanja Vidic (Manchester United), Serbia.
David Villa (Valence CF), Spain.
Xavi (FC Barcelone), Spain.
Youri Zhirkov (CSKA Moscou), Russia.

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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  1. Christovski says:

    No Ferdinand?


  2. Matti says:

    Hmm..if Vidic is in the list then why isn’t Rio? Don’t get me wrong Vidic IS a good player but i thought Rio was better. And what is Ballack doing in the list. If I’m not mistaken (sorry if I am) he’s didn’t play much during the first half of the season.

    One question, how do they determine the top 30 list and the winners? Is it by vote?

  3. Gapi says:

    The moment they overlooked Rio that list lost all credibility.

  4. Tom F says:

    No Rio? What?!!

  5. Kings says:

    Rio should be on that list too – what a joke to exclude him. At least sense has prevailed with the exclusion of cry baby Terry who miraculously made a return to league action yesterday – cunt. To this day I will never know how Michael YSB Owen won the award in 2001- if it’s to do with his exploits in the mickey mouse UEFA cup, then that’s a joke, cos Keano should of won the award in 1999 after his heroics in the European Cup, that carries greater strength.

  6. MaverickCristianoVII says:

    The mind boggles at the ommission of Ferdinand from this list. Head and shoulders above every other defender in the world for the past year and a half.
    Ronaldo must surely take it.

  7. DanS says:

    If Ronaldo doesn’t pick it up we know the whole thing is a joke

  8. john ferry says:

    Since the days of Sir Bobby Charlton, Best, and Law-the media has taken a nose dive. Unfortunately, they shape so much public opinion, for the masses that can not and will not think for themselves. Ronaldo should win, but don’t be surprised if someone else takes the award. How did chelski get 3 players nominated without winning the league or Champions League ? The fact that drogba got thrown out of a Champions League final should disqualify him. Lump-o-lard, please. David Bentley played better than frank last year. 4 players from madrid ? The bias for madrid is criminal.

  9. Ste says:

    Id rather Rio won the award than Ronaldo

    Dont get me wrong, Ronaldo was amazing last season, but Ive not seen a defender as consistently good as Ferdinand ever (born 1990)

    Why are Ballack, Drogba, Eto’o, Ribery, Toni in the list? Ballack wasnt exactly a regular, Drogba scored about 10 goals all season, Eto’o did nothing, Ribery and Toni flopped out in the UEFA Cup

    Replace these with Rio Ferdinand, David Guiza (top scorer in Spanish league), Pavel Pogrebnyak (top scorer in UEFA Cup), Wesley Sneijder and Paul Scholes

    1 Zenit and 0 Rangers players, depite both getting to the UEFA Cup Final, yet Bayern Munich get 2? What rubbish. This should be based on performances rather than name (i.e David Weir was immense in Rangers defence as they could have won a quadruple, whilst Luca Toni was anonymous)

  10. AJ says:

    Am suprised Rio is not in it.

  11. paddy says:

    rio not on list but pepe is??????? WHAT THE FUCK

    some crack has been smoked!!!!!

    remember when the champions league draw was being made

    keeper of the year-cech

    defender of the year- terry

    midfielder of the year-lampard

    forward of the year- ronaldo

    i cannot begin to comprehend the stupidity ofthe people who make these decisions,GO AND FUCK YOURSELVES/

  12. mj says:

    well said paddy

  13. tony-starks says:

    chill people, who cares about these decisions, its the team and the games we watch that are important

  14. UnitedBlogger says:

    First of all agree that if Ronaldo doesn’t win it, it would be a shame. But at the same time, if he doesn’t -I won’t be surprised. There’s already a campaign and an attempt to undermine his season – saying he had an average Euro campaign, that he hasn’t started off that well – etc. All BS. Frankly speaking, there is no one who came close, so it’s a no brainer.

    This is why the insanity of Rio’s absence on this list doesn’t rile me too much. Rio was hands down the best central defender last year and deserves to be on every list.

  15. Red-Manc says:


    Dont want Ronaldo to win it now after his circus act through the summer it might teach him a lesson and he would be a better person for it. #

    is it just me or has gerrard done f**k all to deserve even being in the list?

  16. redmancunian says:

    Did someone notice that Ronaldo did not celebrate when he scored?

  17. Malino Ubah says:

    Fuck the list. All Utd players are supposed to be on the list.

  18. suhayl says:

    Paddy spot on…absolute spot on….



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