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Page last updated at 10:08 GMT, Thursday, 23 April 2009 11:08 UK

Lampard award snub shocks Ballack

By Chris Bevan

Frank Lampard and Michael Ballack
Ballack rates Lampard as one of the best players in the world

Michael Ballack was shocked Chelsea star Frank Lampard missed the shortlist for the Professional Footballers' Association's player of the year award.

The winner is announced on Sunday but Lampard, who partners Ballack in the Blues' midfield, was overlooked.

The German international told BBC Sport: "Frank has played consistently at a high level all season.

"I don't know why he was not nominated but at Chelsea we know how good he is and that is all that matters."

Chelsea suffered a slump in form at the start of 2009 that led to the departure of former boss Luiz Felipe Scolari at the beginning of February.

Since interim manager Guus Hiddink took charge, however, the Blues have enjoyed a resurgence and Lampard has played a key role in their run of only one defeat in their last 13 matches.

He set up both goals as Chelsea beat Arsenal at Wembley on Saturday to reach the FA Cup final, and put in an inspirational performance in last week's dramatic 4-4 draw with Liverpool that saw Chelsea progress to the Champions League semi-finals.

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However, players voted for the PFA award at the end of January, and the six-man shortlist is dominated by Manchester United players.

Nemanja Vidic - who is favourite to lift the trophy - Ryan Giggs, Rio Ferdinand, Edwin van der Sar and last year's winner Cristiano Ronaldo are all in the running, along with Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard.

Ballack, who has been in impressive form himself alongside Lampard and Michael Essien in Chelsea's midfield, remains adamant the England international should have made the final six.

"It is easy to play with Frank because he is such a good player," Ballack explained. "He knows what myself and Michael have to do and whether we should be in an offensive or defensive position.

"I play a little bit behind him but I don't have to tell him what to do. He always does the right thing, depending on where myself and Essien are.

"Frank is one of the best players in the world for sure and I don't think there are many players in the Premier League like him."



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see also
Hiddink admits title bid is over
22 Apr 09 |  Chelsea
Chelsea 0-0 Everton
22 Apr 09 |  Premier League
Hiddink happy to bow out in final
18 Apr 09 |  FA Cup
Arsenal 1-2 Chelsea
18 Apr 09 |  FA Cup
Man Utd dominate PFA awards list
14 Apr 09 |  Premier League
Chelsea 4-4 Liverpool (agg: 7-5)
14 Apr 09 |  Europe
Ronaldo named player of the year
27 Apr 08 |  Football
Ronaldo tops PFA nominations list
11 Apr 08 |  Premier League


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