20/10/2008 10:04, Report by Gemma Thompson

Rio misses out again

The nominees were announced for the 2008 European Footballer of the Year award on Sunday night and not for the first time on an awards list there was one notable absentee.

Cristiano Ronaldo
, no doubt the strong favourite, Wayne Rooney, Nemanja Vidic and Edwin van der Sar are the United representatives among the 30 candidates for the prestigious Ballon d'Or, but why oh why is Rio Ferdinand not on there?

In my opinion, the 30-year-old England international seems somewhat doomed when it comes to personal accolades. He was surprisingly not among last season's nominations for the PFA Player of the Year - granted the votes are cast just after the mid-point in the season - but I believe Rio had already done enough to make the short-list.

And, earlier this season, he was bizarrely pipped by John Terry in the best defender category at UEFA's club football awards. Of course, Terry is a top performer, but Rio, who captained the Reds' to Champions League glory last May, has been in a class of his own for a few seasons now and deserves some recognition. This latest omission follows an all too familiar pattern and one which I certainly can't fathom.

Aside from the United quartet, there are seven other Premier League representatives on the list, including Arsenal's Cesc Fabregas and Emmanuel Adebayor, Chelsea trio Michael Ballack, Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba, and Liverpool pair Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard.

Here's hoping justice is at least done when the winner is announced on 2 December - if a certain Portuguese winger isn't beaming with delight at the glittering ceremoney in Paris, I'm sure I won't be the only one with something to say about it.


Premier League