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By ESPN Staff
Nov 29, 2006

Henry snubbed for top FIFA award

Thierry Henry has not even made it into the final three short-list for the FIFA World Player of the Year award - a decision that is sure to infuriate his Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.

Fabio Cannavaro, Ronaldinho and Zinedine Zidane were revealed as the three remaining candidates today.

Henry was the only player who made it to the finals of both the Champions League and the World Cup last season, and Wenger said earlier this week the striker deserved to have been given the Ballon D'Or, the European Footballer of the Year award won by Italy and Real Madrid defender Cannavaro.

FIFA's award is voted for by the coach and captain of all 207 national teams, who each pick their top three players of the year.

Barcelona's Brazilian Ronaldinho has won it for the last two years and despite having a poor World Cup he is the front-runner again, though Zidane, winner in 2003, 2000 and 1998, may have a chance as a sympathy vote after retiring from football following his red card in the World Cup final.

Wenger yesterday said it had been 'a mistake' to give the European award to World Cup-winning skipper Cannavaro purely on the basis of that tournament.

'It shows that the people who vote look only at the World Cup, which when you speak about elite football, in my opinion, is the lowest level in football that you can see at the moment,' said Wenger.

The identity of the winner of the FIFA award will be revealed on Monday, December 18 at a gala in Zurich.

USA's Kristine Lilly, Germany's Renate Lingor and Brazil international Marta are the remaining contenders in the frame for this year's FIFA Women's World Player award.