Villa chief unsurprised by snub

Players from this country have constantly featured on the shortlist for the prestigious honour in past seasons but there is not a single candidate for the latest award.

Aston Villa manager Houllier said: "The Ballon D'Or usually takes into account the World Cup or the European Championships of that year and also if a player has won the Champions League, for instance.

"I mean, no English team won the Champions League for 2010 and England went out before the quarter-finals in South Africa.

"That's why, it's not a surprise.

"Usually it's an award for when players have been outstanding throughout the whole year.

"You can imagine players who were with Barcelona to the semi-final of the Champions League and those who won the World Cup with Spain would be there.

"You have to explain why sometimes players are there. Thierry Henry never won the Ballon D'Or but I think he deserved it on account of what he'd done.

"France failed in the (2006 World Cup) final on penalties against Italy and Cannavaro won it. It was between Thierry and Cannavaro."

Source: Team Talk