Ronaldo & Messi head Ballon d'Or shortlist

PARIS - Last year's winner Cristiano Ronaldo and Argentina's Lionel Messi were among the 30 players on the 2009 Ballon d'Or award shortlist released on Sunday but Italians and Germans were conspicuous by their absence.

Not a single player from world champions Italy or Euro 2008 losing finalists Germany made the list released by vote organisers France Football magazine on their website.

The result of the vote by football journalists to name the winner of the award formerly know as the European Footballer of the Year will be announced on December 1.

The 30 players shortlisted are:

Andrei Arshavin (Russia, Arsenal)
Karim Benzema (France, Olympique Lyon, then Real Madrid)
Iker Casillas (Spain, Real Madrid)
Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal, Manchester United, then Real Madrid)
Diego (Brazil, Werder Bremen, then Juventus)
Didier Drogba (Ivory Coast, Chelsea)
Edin Dzeko (Bosnia, VfL Wolfsburg)
Samuel Eto'o (Cameroon, Barcelona, then Inter Milan)
Cesc Fabregas (Spain, Arsenal)
Fernando Torres (Spain, Liverpool)
Diego Forlan (Uruguay, Atletico Madrid)
Steven Gerrard (England, Liverpool)
Ryan Giggs (Wales, Manchester United)
Yoann Gourcuff (France, Girondins Bordeaux)
Thierry Henry (France, Barcelona)
Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden, Inter Milan, then Barcelona)
Andres Iniesta (Spain, Barcelona)
Julio Cesar (Brazil, Inter)
Kaka (Brazil, AC Milan, then Real Madrid)
Frank Lampard (England, Chelsea)
Maicon (Brazil, Inter Milan)
Lionel Messi (Argentina, Barcelona)
Luis Fabiano (Brazil, Sevilla)
Franck Ribery (France, Bayern Munich)
Wayne Rooney (England, Manchester United)
John Terry (England, Chelsea)
Nemanja Vidic (Serbia, Manchester United)
David Villa (Spain, Valencia)
Xavi (Spain, Barcelona)
Yaya Toure (Ivory Coast, Barcelona)