Asia represented in European award by Tim Cahill

Australian star Tim Cahill is among the nominees for the prestigious Ballon d'Or award for the European footballer of 2006. Cahill's heroics with the Socceroos at the World Cup and his consistent form with English Premiership club Everton have seen him named among the 50 nominees. He shares a nomination with the cream of international football, from Ronaldinho and Wayne Rooney to Italian World Cup-winning captain Fabio Cannavaro to the retired Zinedine Zidane. Cahill is the only nominee from the Asia region. Cahill kick-started Australia's World Cup run when he came on as a substitute to score twice against Japan. The Ballon d'Or has been awarded by France Football magazine since 1956 to honour the best player of the year. Along with the official FIFA player of the year and World Soccer magazine's player of the year, it is regarded as the leading recognition of individual players.