Michael Ballack

It would also be the fifth Italian to win it after Moar Sivori (1961), Rivera (1969), Paolo Rossi (1982) and Roberto Baggio (1993). Although Gigi is aware that could become the best player of 2006, really not worried or nervous about it. At this time, Buffon is more focused on helping lift his team Juventus to the top of Italian Calcio, having been outlined in the match-fixing scandal. Tony Parker has similar goals. "Others may talk about the Golden Ball at the moment I have a lot of work to do … It's hard but I think I'm driving well," said the 28-years.

Buffon recently rejected an offer from Chelsea for 33 million euros and decided to stay with Juventus, unlike some of his compatriots, who decided to go to other major European clubs. "Juve have been all my life in recent years and I'm used to the little things in this environment," said the world's most expensive goalkeeper. The Golden Ball winner for 3 consecutive years (1983-1985), Michel Platini, said when asked about it was Buffon who should win the award this year. "Since Italy was the winner of the World Cup would give it to an Italian … They should give it to Buffon, his extraordinary performance in the World is worth the recognition," said Platini.

Now all that remains is to await the voting journalists … after all, the final result only depends on their votes. The problem is, as mentioned earlier, that the list of candidates is composed of a number of excellent players. This definitely does not make it easy to choose the best time. For this reason the list has been reduced gradually to reach the last seven candidates. In the accompanying list Gianluigi, his former Juventus teammate Fabio Cannavaro and his other compatriot Andrea Pirlo of AC Milan. They are also the England and Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney, Germany and Chelsea midfielder Michael Ballack, Arsenal's Thierry Henry and finally, the winner of the Ballon d'Or 2005 and one of the most pampered players, Ronaldinho. The winner will be announced in Paris on 28th November. Until then we will continue pending what happens around the award and look forward.



December 12th