4. MAKING A LIST: Golden Ball candidates

France leads all nations with 11 players nominated for the 2006 European Player of the Year. The Paris magazine France Football, which organizes the award, announced a short list of 50 candidates for the 51st Ballon d'Or ("Golden Ball'). Chelsea leads all clubs with nine players picked, followed by Barcelona with eight and Lyon with five.

FRANCE (11): Coupet (Lyon), Gallas (Arsenal), Giuly (Barcelona), Henry (Arsenal), Makelele (Chelsea), Malouda (Lyon), Ribery (Marseille), Sagnol (Bayern Munich), Thuram (Barcelona), Vieira (Inter Milan), Zidane (retired).
ITALY (7): Buffon (Juventus), Cannavaro (Real Madrid), Gattuso (Milan), Grosso (Inter Milan), Pirlo (Milan), Toni (Fiorentina), Zambrotta (Barcelona).
GERMANY (6): Ballack (Chelsea), Klose (Werder Bremen), Lahm (Bayer Munich), Lehmann (Arsenal), Podolski (Bayern Munich), Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich).
ENGLAND (5): J. Cole (Chelsea), Gerrard (Liverpool), Lampard (Chelsea), Rooney (Manchester United), Terry (Chelsea).
BRAZIL (4): Cris (Lyon), Juninho (Lyon), Kaka (Milan), Ronaldinho (Barcelona). SPAIN (4): Cesc (Arsenal), Puyol (Barcelona), Torres (Atletico Madrid), Villa (Valencia).
PORTUGAL (3): C. Ronaldo (Manchester United), Deco (Barcelona), Tiago (Lyon).
ARGENTINA (2): Messi (Barcelona), Riquelme (Villarreal).
AUSTRALIA (1): Cahill (Everton). CAMEROON (1): Eto'o (Barcelona). ECUADOR (1): Mendez (PSV). GHANA (1): Essien (Chelsea). IVORY COAST (1): Drogba (Chelsea). MALI (1): Diarra (Real Madrid). NETHERLANDS (1): Robben (Chelsea), UKRAINE (1): Shevchenko (Chelsea).
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