Debate: Who should win the UEFA Footballer of the Year Award?

The great and the good of European football have descended on Monaco today to indulge in a series of indecently large lunches, some serious back-slapping and an intensive session of lounging around on luxury yachts.

If they bigwigs can drag themselves away from their gold-plated goldfish bowls filled with cognac long enough then they'll also conduct the draw for the Champions League group stages and reveal the winner of this year's UEFA Club Footballer of the Year Award.

The criterion for nomination for the latter is that a player must have featured in last season's Champions League competition (which is surely the only reason that Carlton Cole has been overlooked), which explains the somewhat samey feel to this list of nominees:

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

Defender of the Year: Jamie Carragher (Liverpool), Rio Ferdinand (Manchester United), Carles Puyol (FC 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 (FC Barcelona), Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Fernando Torres (Liverpool).

So, which player on the list would you give the Award to, and why?

Or, if you reject the notion that the Champions League is the be-all and end-all of modern football, tell us who else you think deserves the prize.

Let us know by adding your comments below...

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