8 Dec 2009

Ronaldo gets to defend world player of the year award

1:58 pm on 8 December 2009

The Portugese forward Cristiano Ronaldo has been given a chance to defend his World football Player of the Year title after being named on the shortlist for this year's accolade.

Argentina's Lionel Messi, Brazil's Kaka, the 2007 winner, and Spanish pair Andres Iniesta and Xavi complete the shortlist for the title which will be awarded by world governing body FIFA in a fortnight.

All five nominees play for Spanish clubs -- Ronaldo and Kaka for Real Madrid and Xavi, Messi and Iniesta for Barcelona.

Messi has already won the Ballon D'Or awarded by France Football magazine, mainly after helping Barcelona to win the Champions League.

The winner will be chosen by national team coaches and captains, who cannot vote for players from their own country.

Last year Argentina coach Diego Maradona labelled the rules as stupid after he was unable to vote for Messi.