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Six Barcelona players for Golden Ball award

sports Updated: Oct 18, 2009 23:03 IST

AP
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Six stars from Spanish and European champion Barcelona are chasing the Golden Ball award for 2009 while the 30-strong list of nominations does not include a single player from World Cup holder Italy.

Barca players Lionel Messi, Xavi Fernandez, Thierry Henry, Andres Iniesta, Yaya Toure and Zlatan Ibrahimovic have made the list, which was announced on Sunday and includes last year's winner Cristiano Ronaldo. The winner will be announced on Dec 1.

Restricted to stars who play in Europe, the Golden Ball winner is decided by an annual poll of football journalists compiled by France Football magazine.

The fact that no Italian is on the list reflects the lack of success of Serie A clubs in European competitions. Although AC Milan won the Champions League in 2007, no Italian clubs have made it to the semifinal in the past two seasons and none since Parma in 1999 have won European football's second tier competition, the UEFA Cup, which is now known as the Europa League. Inter Milan, which has captured four Italian league titles in a row, often starts with no Italians on its lineup.

Three of its stars have made the nominations, Cameroon striker Samuel Eto'o, Brazilian goalkeeper Julio Cesar and defender Maicon.