Reds pair shortlisted for award

Liverpool’s Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres are both on the shortlist for the prestigious Ballon d’Or award, presented by a French football magazine.

The award, first presented to Blackpool’s Stanley Matthews, awards the best players in European football and is very highly regarded.

Last year Torres came third for the prize, behind Lionel Messi and then Manchester Utd forward Christiano Ronaldo.

Steven Gerrard came third in 2005 after leading Liverpool to European Cup glory in Istanbul.

In 2001 Michael Owen won the award after an impressive season with Liverpool including two goals against Arsenal in the FA Cup Final. He is to date Liverpool’s only ever winner of the Ballon d’Or.

Kenny Dalglish came second behind now UEFA President Michel Platini in 1983.

This year’s winner will be announced at a ceremony on December 1st. The full shortlist is as follows:

Andrey Arshavin (Arsenal), Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Iker Casillas (Real Madrid), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Diego (Juventus), Didier Drogba (Chelsea), Edin Dzeko (Wolfsburg), Samuel Eto’o (Inter Milan), Cesc Fabregas (Arsenal), Fernando Torres (Liverpool), Diego Forlan (Atletico Madrid), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Ryan Giggs (Manchester United), Yoann Gourcuff (Bordeaux), Thierry Henry (Barcelona), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Barcelona), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), Julio Cesar (Inter Milan), Kaka (Real Madrid), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), Maicon (Inter Milan), Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Luis Fabiano (Sevilla), Franck Ribery (Bayern Munich), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), John Terry (Chelsea), Nemanja Vidic (Manchester United), David Villa (Valencia), Xavi (Barcelona), Yaya Toure (Barcelona).

Both players missed Saturday’s 1-0 defeat to Sunderland and will undergo fitness tests ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League encounter with Lyon at Anfield.