On 30th October, Ghana midfielder Michael Essien was one of 23 players nominated by world football governing body FIFA for the 2009 World Player of the Year.
The Chelsea midfielder whose previous individual awards includes winning the BBC African Football of the Year in 2007 and French Player of the Year in 2005 is however a long outside shot for the honour with Argentina’s Lionel Messi the early favourite.
Essien was joined by two other African big names on the short list. They are Didier Drogba who beat Essien to the CAF Player of the Year awards in 2007 and three-time African player of the year Samuel Eto’o who was brilliant in helping Barcelona to a treble of Spanish League, Cup and European Champions League triumph this year.
The winner of the award is voted for by coaches and captains of national teams. FIFA will then cut the list down to five based on the votes before announcing the winner at a function at the Zurich Kongresshaus.
Lionel Messi won the ultimate on 21st December, 2009
Nominees for 2009 Fifa World Player of the Year award:
Michael Ballack (Germany), Chelsea
Gianluigi Buffon (Italy), Juventus
Iker Casillas (Spain), Real Madrid
Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Real Madrid
Diego (Brazil), Juventus
Didier Drogba (Ivory Coast), Chelsea
Michael Essien (Ghana), Chelsea
Samuel Eto’o (Cameroon), Inter Milan
Steven Gerrard (England), Liverpool
Thierry Henry (France), Barcelona
Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden), Barcelona
Andres Iniesta (Spain), Barcelona
Kaka (Brazil), Real Madrid
Frank Lampard (England), Chelsea
Luis Fabiano (Brazil), Sevilla
Lionel Messi (Argentina), Barcelona
Carles Puyol (Spain), Barcelona
Franck Ribery (France), Bayern Munich
Wayne Rooney (England), Manchester United
John Terry (England), Chelsea
Fernando Torres (Spain), Liverpool
David Villa (Spain), Valencia
Xavi (Spain), Barcelona
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