Today in history: Michael Essien nominated for FIFA Player of Year

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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