The European footballer of the year is the most prestigious award in the game after the FIFA player of the year. And this year has 50 nominees for the award. But the top contenders seem to be Zizou the wall, and of course the phenomenon. It has been a kind of year Ronaldo Luis Nazario De Lima will probably never forget. Eight goals in seven matches in the World Cup in Japan and South Korea sealed his greatness forever. Four years ago at France, Ronaldo was a shadow of the player who had terrorised defences all over the continent. But as he ran riot through the German defence on a wonderful Yokhama night, the sight of the man with the Golden boot was one of the biding memories of the 2002 World Cup. 'Kahn can' "If any body can then Oliver Kahn," that was what football fans around the world felt before this years World Cup final. And though at the end of the day Kahn proved he was just human, even the most hard core of German supporters would never have in their wildest dream thought that the German side could make it all the way to the final of the World Cup. But on the domestic front it was not the kind of ending Oliver had hoped for, his club Bayern Munich ended the Bundesliga season without any silverware for the first time in seven years. But Oliver Kahn will always be looked upon as a model of consistency. Zizou's magic The year 2002 was supposed to be Zizou or Zinedine Zidane's swan song year. Unfortunately for him it did not go all according to plan. A goal in the Champions League final was meant to be a precursor of things to come. But in the far east France failed miserably. Knocked out in the first round with out a goal to their name, much of the blame was unfortunately heaped on the shoulders of an injured Zizou. But having won all that there is too win at Club level with both Juventus and Real Madrid, being voted European Footballer of the Year should hopefully make up for the failure with the French team.