Barca may hog awards

NYON - Six players from Champions League winner Barcelona and six from English teams were nominated for the Club Footballer of the Year awards, competition organiser Uefa said.

NYON - Six players from Champions League winner Barcelona and six from English teams were nominated for the Club Footballer of the Year awards, competition organiser Uefa said.

Samuel Eto'o and Lionel Messi, whose goals helped Barcelona beat Manchester United 2-0 in the final, are nominated alongside influential midfielders Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta, defender Gerard Pique and goalkeeper Victor Valdes. Eto'o has since joined Inter Milan.

Three United players feature, including last year's winner Cristiano Ronaldo, who joined Real Madrid in the summer. Defender Nemanja Vidic and veteran keeper Edwin van der Sar also figure.

Beaten semifinalists Chelsea are represented by defender John Terry and goalkeeper Petr Cech, while Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard is nominated despite losing at the quarterfinal stage. For the second straight year, no Italian team is represented in the nominations.

Votes for the overall winner and four positional awards have been cast by the 16 coaches who led teams to the knockout stage of last season's Champions League. The winners will be announced at a ceremony in Monaco on August 27.

Nominees: Goalkeeper of the Year: Petr Cech (Chelsea), Victor Valdes (FC Barcelona), Edwin van der Sar (Manchester United).

Defender of the Year: Gerard Pique (Barca), John Terry (Chelsea), Nemanja Vidic (Manchester United).

Midfielder of the Year: Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Xavi Hernandez (Barca), Andres Iniesta (Barca).

Forward of the Year: Samuel Eto'o (Barca - now Inter Milan), Lionel Messi (Barca), Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United - now Real Madrid). - Sapa-AP

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