Six players from Champions League winner Barcelona and six from English teams were nominated for the Club Footballer of the Year awards, competition organiser UEFA said on Monday.
Samuel Eto’o and Lionel Messi, whose goals helped Barcelona beat Manchester United 2-0 in the final, are nominated alongside influential midfielders Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta, defender Gerard Pique and goalkeeper Victor Valdes. Eto’o has since joined Inter Milan.
Three United players feature, including last year’s winner Cristiano Ronaldo who joined Real Madrid for a world record transfer fee of 80 million pounds in the summer. Defender Nemanja Vidic and veteran keeper Edwin van der Sar also figure.
Beaten semifinalist Chelsea is represented by defender John Terry and goalkeeper Petr Cech, while Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard is nominated despite losing at the quarterfinal stage.
For the second straight year, no Italian team is represented in the nominations. Votes for the overall winner and four positional awards have been cast by the 16 coaches who led teams to the knockout stage of last season’s Champions League.
The winners will be announced at an August 27 ceremony in Monaco before the draw is made for the 32-team group phase of this season’s competition.