Almunia and Fabregas on Uefa shortlist

Arsenal’s Cesc Fabregas and Manuel Almunia have been included in the shortlist for this year’s European Club Footballer of the Year awards.

The two Spaniards are joined by a number of Premiership players including favourite for the award, Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo. Cesc Fabregas had been on top form for the Gunners last season, providing the catalyst for Arsenal’s brilliant start to the season and scored 13 goals and 23 assists in all competitions. He carried that form into the European Championships and shone when coming on as substitute for eventual Player of the Euro 2008 Xavi, usually trying to win the game for the country in the last few minutes.

Manuel Almunia was a surprise inclusion but has been in good form for Arsenal and has looked calm and composed behind the sticks after disposing Jens Lehmann off the number one shirt.

Goalkeeper of the year: Manuel Almunia (Arsenal), Petr Cech (Chelsea), Manuel Neuer (FC Schalke 04), Jose Reina (Liverpool), Edwin van der Sar (Manchester United).

Defender of the year: Jamie Carragher (Liverpool), Rio Ferdinand (Manchester United), Carles Puyol (Barcelona), John Terry (Chelsea), Nemanja Vidic (Manchester United).

Midfielder of the year: Michael Essien (Chelsea), Cesc Fabregas (Arsenal), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), Paul Scholes (Manchester United).

Forward of the year: Didier Drogba (Chelsea), Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Fernando Torres (Liverpool).

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