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Cristiano Ronaldo on young player award shortlist

Written by: Staff
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BERLIN, July 6 (Reuters) Six players including Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo were shortlisted today for FIFA'S inaugural Gillette Best Young Player Award at the World Cup.

Ronaldo received a barrage of media and fan criticism for his part in the sending-off of England's Wayne Rooney in Portugal's penalty shootout quarter-final victory.

He complained to the referee vociferously about a foul by his Manchester United team mate before Rooney's red card in the hot tempered match in Gelsenkirchen on Saturday.

Two of the criteria for the prize are fair play and role-model behaviour as well as skilful and exciting play.

The other candidates for the award which will be announced in Berlin on Friday are Ecuador's Luis Valencia, Lionel Messi of Argentina, German Lukas Podolski, Tranquilo Barnetta of Switzerland and Spain's Cesc Fabregas.

Messi, who had been expected to play a leading role in Argentina's campaign, was surprisingly not used in their quarter-final exit to hosts Germany after a penalty shootout.

There was no place for Rooney on the list for which only players among the 32 World Cup finals teams who are 21 or younger at the start of the year qualify.

The award is based on a fans poll -- more than one million votes were received -- and the selections from the FIFA technical study group.

REUTERS AY RK2040

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