Guardian, Monday, December 1, 2008 1:30 PM
France Football magazine will almost inevitably award its European Player of the Year Ballon D'Or trophy to Cristiano Ronaldo, writes Paul Doyle. But he believes that there are two better
The first is Spain and Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas
. His "superb performances for [Euro 2008 winner] Spain last summer, allied to his heroics
during Real Madrid's title winning season in La Liga, mean that, if there has to be a winner this year, he has as strong a claim as Ronaldo."
But for Doyle the winner should be
the playmaker Mohamed Aboutrika
of Egyptian and African champions Al Ahly. He is "an inspirational player who is the creative fulcrum of both his club and his country, with whom
he this season achieved everything he possibly could. He won his domestic championship and champions league with his club while taking the continental crown with his country, even scoring the winner
in the final, his fourth goal of a tremendous tournament." But he was "scandalously" overlooked from even the shortlist of 30 players drawn up by the magazine's editorial team.
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