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Golden Ball shortlist announced

FIFA today announced the ten candidates in line for the player of the tournament award, to be decided upon by the FIFA technical committee the day after the final.

The list is as follows:

Buffon, Cannavaro, Zambrotta, Pirlo (all Italy), Vieira, Henry, Zidane (France), Maniche (Portugal), Klose and Ballack (Germany).

Personally, I cannot see that Vieira, Henry or Ballack have done anywhere near enough to justify being nominated but it is probably symptomatic of how the tournament has played out that neither one team or individual players has stood out as head and shoulders above the rest.

From the list, I think realistically that it will come from the trio of Cannavaro, Pirlo or Zidane with much depending on whether Italy or France come out on top on Sunday evening.