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Thursday, 27 June, 2002, 09:18 GMT 10:18 UK

Battle for the Golden Ball

Four Brazilians are on Fifa's shortlist of 10 for the Golden Ball, the award for the best player at the World Cup.

Who should win?
  Michael Ballack (Germany)
  Roberto Carlos (Brazil)
  El Hadji Diouf (Senegal)
  Fernando Hierro (Spain)
  Hong Myung-Bo (South Korea)
  Oliver Kahn (Germany)
  Rivaldo (Brazil)
  Ronaldo (Brazil)
  Ronaldinho (Brazil)
  Hasan Sas (Turkey)
  25726 Votes Cast

Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion


This debate is now closed - A selection of your e-mails appear below.

It has to be Ronaldo. He has atoned for his poor performance in the last World Cup and scored some good individual goals.
Roger Sweetapple, England

" I would have liked to have seen Rio Ferdinand on the list "
Karl Schultz, England

El-Hadji Diouf is the playmaker of the World Cup. He should be seriously considered for this Golden ball as he has produced several skilful displays and contributed much to his team.
Segun Ajayi, Nigeria

The biggest team performance has been that of South Korea, with Hong Myung-Bo in particular looking solid in defence. If Peter Reid can rave about him, then he gets my vote!
Frank, England

I would have liked to have seen Rio Ferdinand on the list. He has been outstanding!
Karl Schultz, England

David Seaman definitely should get the award, because that blunder made a lot of Scots very happy indeed.
Rick, Scotland

Without a doubt, Kahn should get it. His unbelievable saves and incredible leadership got Germany to the final.
Chris, Antigua

" Oliver Kahn has almost single-handedly got Germany into the final "
Jim Smith, UK

Umit Davala has been simply outstanding, and deserved at least a place on this rather controversial shortlist.
Harry, Greece

I love the flair and magic feet of Ronaldinho.
Gillian Quiney, England

Oliver Kahn has almost single-handedly got Germany into the final. He should win it!
Jim Smith, UK

With his fine ball control, vision of game, sense of positioning and tremendous effort to overcome past injuries, I have to go with Ronaldo.
Adriano, Brazil

Where's Irelands Damien Duff? He deserves to be on the list because he was one of the most exciting players at the finals. Kahn should win it, but Duff should have made the list.
Shane, Canada

Winning the golden ball is not all about scoring goals. It's also the amount of determination, courage and quality that you display.My choice is El Hadji Diouf.
Amaechi Madueke, Nigeria

" Rivaldo has been instrumental in setting up goals and scoring them himself "
Joy, India

I thought USA's Landon Donavan put in a couple of good performance and should have definitely been added to this list.
Jose Nicola, USA

Hasan Sas was the hardest working player in this World Cup. He really gave those Brazilians a run for their money! He has got class, skill and is not overawed by big names.
Syed Hossain, Bangladesh

Rivaldo has been instrumental in setting up goals and scoring them himself. The opposition is never comfortable when he has the ball.
Joy, India

Ronaldo has proven to be the greatest player of the Cup. His goals are responsible for Brazil reaching the final. Other great players on the list are Rivaldo, Ronaldinho and the best goalkeeper of this Cup, Oliver Khan. Hong Myung-Bo is a mediocre player, and the Korean team only made it to the semi-finals because the referees were on their side. I can't see why Sol Campbell isn't there either.
Luiz Paulo, Brazil

Rivaldo, a true Thespian, is the best player on the world's stage.
Frank Lee, USA

" Not a bad list at all, but we can't truly judge until the final is over "
Ron, England

Michael Ballack should win the Golden Ball. No other player had played so many games as he did. He led Bayer Leverkusen to the Champions League final, the German Cup final and to the second place in the Bundesliga. He also puts Germany through the World Cup qualification. In this World Cup he scored three times and gave four assists. No other midfielder was better in scoring this year, and he is only a defending midfielder.
Daniel Strahl, Germany

Not a bad list at all, but we can't truly judge until the final is over.

Kahn has been immense and has really led his team to where they are. And Ronaldo has scored important goals, played for his team and has been almost back to the form of old. Ronaldo, you're a great sportsman, and there's not many like you left.
Ron, England

Oliver Kahn is the only player in the list who is single-handedly responsible for taking his side through to the World Cup final, whereas the rest, while brilliant, have thrived on the support of their team-mates as well for their success. Hence, if we are to pick an individual in a team sport, Kahn stands head and shoulders above the rest in this particular competition.
Navoneil Bhattacharyya, India

Ronaldo has had an injury for the most part of the past four years, and to come back and start scoring goals is a show of great courage and talent. To think that a half-fit Ronaldo is the current top-scorer should make even the most sceptical to take note.
Francis Kabaso,Zambia

" No one is like El Hadji Diouf in this tournament. He has played brilliantly and no one has managed to equal him "
Mulat N, Ethiopia

Ronaldinho should get this award. He stands out in a competition that has been rather mediocre. His verve, panache and obvious enjoyment of his football set him apart from the dull journeymen who have participated in this disappointing tournament.
RJ Perera, Hong Kong

Ronaldo is back at his best. His goals have propelled Brazil to the final. His nightmare is over.
Neil, Scotland

I am going for Ronaldo he deserves this award more than Rivaldo.

Ronaldo is a team player as he showed in the match against Turkey. He passes the ball to a team-mate more often when not in a better position to score compared to Rivaldo.
Godfrey Manehioha, Solomon Islands

No one is like El Hadji Diouf in this tournament. He has played brilliantly throughout the tournament and no one has managed to equal him.
Mulat N., Ethiopia

" It's very simple, no Khan, no Germany "
Beng Chuan, Singapore

Despite Kahn's outstanding performance so far, I don't think FIFA will give the best player prize to a goalkeeper.
Luiz Felipe, Brazil

Cafu is the only player ever to be in three consecutive finals. Not even Pele did it! I think he deserves at least an honourable mention.
Eduardo Muniz, Brazil

I know the World has gone a little crazy lately, but come on Myung-Bo the best player in the World Cup? I must be watching some other sport. Who would you prefer to see in your team Bo or Rivaldo?
Eduardo Muniz, Brazil

It's very simple, no Khan, no Germany. And to only concede only one goal in six World Cup matches so far is no mean feat. Credit must also go to the German defence for an outstanding job.
Beng Chuan, Singapore

The Golden Ball contenders are really Hobsons choice. In truth, this has been a poor World Cup. No outstanding team and few of the accepted stars (Figo, Totti, Owen, Zidane, Henry, Veron) have been fit or perfoming their best.

" Despite Kahn's outstanding performance so far, I don't think FIFA will give the best player prize to a goalkeeper. "
Luiz Felipe, Brazil

Players who have defined the Tournament as in the past (Zidane 98, Romario 94, Maradona 86) have been missing in action.

The first Asian World Cup may have been a commercial success, but it has not been a patch on Euro 2000.
Sean, New Zealand

Kahn has been the only truly consistent and great player in this tournament. It's a sad indictment on this pretty poor World Cup that a goalkeeper is the best player.
Matt, NZ

Hasan Sas deserves to be selected as the best player of the tournament for his outstanding skill and a real player like attitude.
Hasan, UK

Hasan Sas has demonstrated tremendously versatile skills from game building and conducting like an orchestra leader to scoring with great conviction. His fluency, creativity, and cleverness matches the Brazilian footballing style.

It is definitely Hasan Sas who deserves to be chosen to get the golden ball for his skill and a real payer like attitude.
Hasan, Bangladesh

" Although it is a very distinguished list of famous players, my vote goes to a less familiar player, called Hong M B of Korea "
Jay, UK

Once more the media are trying to turn a competent Brazilian Side into an outstanding one by the power of suggestion. How else can one explain the presence of Roberto Carlos on this list?

Prior to the tournament he was hailed as a brilliant left back, and apparently nothing he does on the field can change the reputation. His image as a dead ball specialist is based on a single free kick, scored four years ago.
Ian Cooper, UK

From this list it's easy to pick one of Brazil's 3 R's, or the back-to-top-form Kahn. But seeing as I hadn't come across him before, and he truly impressed, I'll go for Hasan Sas he's consistently creative.
Robb, England

Although it is a very distinguished list of famous players, my vote goes to a less familiar player in the name of Hong M B of Korea. He was instrumental in keeping the Korean defence very tight and his reading of the game was often exemplary and inspirational. I really hope he gets the award as he deserves the accolade as a four time World Cup veteran.
Jay, UK

Diouf gets my vote, the most tackled player in the tournament, showing the danger he posed to other teams. He led an underdog team to the quarter-finals. If that's not worth the best player award, I don't know what is.
Hameed Jibril,Australia

I agree with the sentiments that this World Cup has produced fewer outstanding performers.

" I'm puzzled by the absence of Ahn Jung Hwan "
Annie, S. Korea

I disagree with Roberto Carlos, Diouf and Hierro. I would include players such as Duff, P. Diao, Ferdinand, Cafu, and Wilmots.My selection falls will depend on the result of the final. Khan, should Germany hold out Brazil. The leading scorer out of Ronaldo or Rivaldo should Brazil win.
Greg L,Australia

I wasn't interested in soccer very much before. But now it makes me crazy. Hong Myung-Bo is the best player, and made me realise the charm of football.
Ji-suk Sung, Korea

Hong Myung-Bo deserves this award most of all! I'm puzzled by the absence of Ahn Jung Hwan!
Annie, S. Korea

Damien Duff would have got on the list if he'd had more games. Otherwise it should have been Cafu, no question.
James, UK

Ronaldo, or his six beautiful goals.
Victor Gilbert,Scotland

None of the above.My vote would go to Damien Duff.
Rob Hornsey,Taiwan

I do not see how Hong Myung-Bo, Hierro and Ronaldinho get on this list. They each had moments of brilliance but have not consistently performed in every game throughout the tournament. Where are Brad Friedel, Rio Ferdinand, Inamoto, Rommedahl and Basturk? They were the players that took their teams further than the pundits thought they would go. I'd still pick Kahn in the end though.
Mark, UK

" Although players like Ballack, Ronaldo and Ronaldinho have also shined in their own way, Rivaldo was far beyond them in every aspect "
Sameer Furjun, Botswana

Hasan Sas has been a thorn in the side of any of his opposition but Yildiray Basturk has been the real star. Proof being his pass to Sas for Turkey's first goal. Surely Ballack is a better choice.
Anthony, England

Don't know about Hong Myung-Bo? Just imagine Franz Beckenbauer as a Korean, then.
Jin, Ho-won,South Korea

Hong Myung -Bo from South Korea has amazing stamina and a never say die attitude. With better players around him he will soon become one of the world's top five players.
Alan Bennett, UK

Rivaldo has been astonishing. Brazil would not be in the final without him. He is so regular and unmoody on the field. Although players like Ballack, Ronaldo and Ronaldinho have also shined in their own way, Rivaldo was far beyond them in every aspect. He deserves the Golden Ball and he's worked hard for it.
Sameer Furjun, Botswana

My vote goes to 'Big Ron.' He has come back from the brink of death and career ending injuries, and has scored six goals so far. He is unselfish around the box as well.
Freddie Collier, England

It's really funny, how all those funny English "experts" judge the German national team. Such envy! You are long gone home and we are in the final, so which team is poorer!? For me, the way Ballack played for his team in the semi-final was incredible! He is the real hero of the competition!
Felix, Germany

" It's quite funny though as to how an over the hill Korean who has never been recognised for doing anything in his football life can be getting so may votes "

Damien Duff should be in the voting. He was probably the most exciting player in the World Cup (although I am biased as I am a Blackburn fan.) Every time he got the ball you knew something would happen.
Mark Jones,England

The German captain Oliver Kahn has been huge, he reminds me of Schmeichel in his prime, and just as he took Denmark to the European final, Kahn has taken Germany to the World Cup final. He has made inspirational saves at important times.
Dave Brown,UK

For me Ronaldo has been the best player of the tournament to date. He is a true star in the world of football, I would hope that one day he might be signed by my club Arsenal, and then they would have no trouble staying at the top.
Peter Singh, UK

Best Player? Cafu, the Brazilian captain. Quick, clever, inspirational and a joy to watch playing. If only we had anyone near his class in the englans set-up! sadly, we don't!
Michael Grice, Singapore

What a poor selection to choose from.....It's quite funny though as to how an over the hill Korean who has never been recognised for doing anything in his football life can be getting so may votes and Rio Ferdinand who is at the peak of his football life and valued at £30 million can not even make the short list even though he has been one of the outstanding players of the finals.If I had to choose one I would probably go for Ronaldo.

" Without Oliver Kahn Germany would be a very average team "
Jon Fryer, UK

It has to be Ronaldhino, for the amazing football and also the superb sportsmanship he displayed when given a red card, which if it weren't in England's favour we would all be up in arms about. Unfortunately England don't have any world class players, so no nominees this time.
Simon Cammies, England

Oliver Kahn is by far the player with the most positive impact for his team in this tournament. He is the most valuable player because without him Germany would never ever have reached the final. Ronaldo is a great forward, maybe the best one but most of his goals did not make a difference. Oliver Kahn's performance did!
Marco Rohde, Germany

Who picks the list of players?Whoever it is which games did they watch because the games I watched Hierro and Ballack were not too impressive. And how does Hong get in front of Ferdinand?!
Mark Donnelly, England

How can a player who deliberately cheated to get a fellow professional sent be named amongst the top 10 players of the tournament? He was a disgrace to the game!
Craig Owens, Wales

Hasan Sas is one of the best players of the cup. He has performed quite well throughout and is undoubtedly the rising star of the new face of world football.
Ufuk Ak, Turkey

If you are talking about the player who has had the most influence in the success of his country then one man stands out. Without Oliver Kahn Germany would be a very average team. A defence that has been scared stiff by pace has been saved time and time again by the excellent shot stopper. I almost think that most strikers don't even think they will score past him and subsequently fluff or hurry their shots.
Jon Fryer, UK

" Ronaldo is the best player not only because of his great talent but his team spirit which is becoming rare "
Vu Hoai Bac,Vietnam

As an Englishman living in Germany I have witnessed first hand the public reaction to their country's progress and theres no doubt they know that the team would not have come so far without the magnificence of Oliver Kahn, who has not only made important saves but has commanded a strong defence (with only one goal conceded in six games) with the grit and determination that is required to win the World Cup. Kahn gets my vote.

Rivaldo has been inspirational when playing football but some of his off the ball antics have been disgraceful so he should not have made the list in my opinion.

Ronaldo is the best player not only because of his great talent but his team spirit which is becoming rare. The way in which he has proved himself through the tournaments tells us that he absolutely deserves the Golden Ball. For me, he is the model player in the world of football nowadays.
Vu Hoai Bac,Vietnam

For goodness sake, I think there're only two reasons Germany are where they are now, and both of them are in the nominated list.Michael Ballack was seen as the hero for scoring solitary goals in the quarter-final and semi-finals. But frankly, anyone else in the same position would have scored as well, so as good as he is, he's not the man.How many goalkeepers, however, can say they would have kept Germany around for three rounds? If it wasn't for Kahn, the goals by Ballack and Neuville (against Paraguay) would have been merely Germany's consolation goals!All the best Brazil, sorry Kahn.For the best keeper you are, your team's going to let you down.
Hilary Hoe, Singapore

" Hong Myung-bo is the best player in the World Cup "
Su-jin,South Korea

Hong Myung-Bo should get the Golden Ball. Look at the vote result! It's obvious that the player who got the most attention from football fans should win. He showed what the soccer is during this World Cup.
Sehun,South Korea

Hong, who does not appear on the screen that often, has the key for the winnings of the Korean team. He is the starting point of all the attacks, and also the core pillar in defence.
Ji Young Kim, Korea

Hong Myung-bo is the best player in the World Cup.At 32 years of age, Hong Myung-bo is nothing short of a footballing legend in his native Korea Republic. A veteran of three FIFA World Cup finals, Hong is the fine glue holding the Korean back line together. He could prove to be a make-or-break element to Korea's lofty hopes for the 2002 FIFA World Cup.
Su-jin,South Korea

Hong is best player in this World Cup. He got South Korea to the semi-finals.
Lee Yongwoon,South Korea

Why isn't Cafú on this list? He is one of the consistently amazing players in this World Cup. The star is Ronaldo, closely followed by Ronaldinho, Rivaldo, and Cafú.
Jim Legge, Canada

" Sure Ronaldo and Rivaldo are scoring most goals for Brazil, but Ronaldinho is doing all the damage "

Mr. Hong I selected played a very import role for Korea to successfully reach the semi-final. As you know, it's the first time in our history and I would believe what he and our team have done was a major surprise at World Cup 2002 to most countries.
Andy Lee,Korea

I believe that Michael Ballack should win the Golden Ball. He is an amazing player and has done a lot for his team. He definitely deserves merit for what he has done.
Nadia, Canada

I vote for Rivaldo. He has got immense control over the ball and I find him the most consistent and brilliant player in this World Cup. With him Brazil will win the cup.
Jareeb Rahman, India

Hong Myung-Bo is the best libero in soccer history.
Wonhee, Korea

Hong is great defender, like Maldini, but his attack skills are better than Maldini. He is same as the Kaiser or Baresi.
Gene,Korea Republic

Ronaldinho for skill and temperament - he is the only player (apart from Ronaldo) in the over confident Brazilian team that doesn't emit arrogance. And his attitude is superb - never seen anyone take a red card with a smile ...

Sure Ronaldo and Rivaldo are scoring most goals for Brazil, but Ronaldinho is doing all the damage. He is surely the best player in the tournament and clearly deserves the Golden Ball.

" Hasan Sas has, for me, been the star turn "
Robin Cannon, Japan

Of course, Hong Myung Bo is the best player of this World Cup. "Best player" should be evaluated both by the spirit of soccer and skills.In this World Cup, Hong Myung Bo and the Korean players show to the world what is the true spirit of soccer.
Jully Kim,South Korea

Ronaldinho has excelled with his amazing runs down the middle and also along the flanks and has set up numerous goals.
Srikanth, India

Hasan Sas has, for me, been the star turn. But, to be honest, this list is worthless. No Rio Ferdinand, no Damien Duff? And yet Diouf, who spent 90% of the World Cup falling over, is chosen? Don't make me laugh, most of the Senegal team made a greater contribution than him, let alone the other 31 nations.
Robin Cannon, Japan

Agreed Hong, as well as the rest of the Korean team have less talent and flair than some other nominees; however, for sheer effort, teamwork and dedication he wins my vote hands down.
Kurt Thompson, Korea

Oliver Kahn is the best player in this World Cup. He isn't only the captain of the team, he is also be the smartest player.
Vicky Wang,Taiwan

I think El Hadji Diouf is the best payer in this World Cup and he deserves this Golden ball.
Henok Yared, Ethiopia

" I'm surprised Duff is not on the list, since he's been one of the best players this World Cup has produced "
Christopher, England

It has got to be Hasan Sas. Besides his magical skills, his work rate is also incredible. One minute you see him taking on three huge defenders at once, the next minute defending his goal at the back. It is a joy to watch him. A truly unique player, one of its own kind. He is a nightmare for even the best defenders with his endless dazzling runs and mean visage. On the other hand, seeing Rivaldo on the shortlist for the Golden Ball makes me almost laugh, I'd say Golden Globe is more appropriate for him.
Kadir Bahcecik, Turkey

I'm surprised Duff is not on the list, since he's been one of the best players this World Cup has produced. But from the list, Kahn gets my vote as his form has been inspirational. He has not so much helped Germany to the final, but has carried them.
Christopher, England

I think Kahn should win for getting Germany to the World Cup final on his own. Kahn is a worthy sucessor to Peter Schmeichel for the title of best goalkeeper in the world.
Gareth Mulreid, England

From your list I will vote for Ballack, who seems to have almost single-handedly dragged a poor German team into the final. However, the best player at this World Cup, in my opinion, has for some reason not been included in your list. Cafu has been a model of consistent brilliance and would surely walk straight into any team in the world. A true team player, blessed with tremendous individual ability - what a man!
Dave Penketh, England

" El-Hadji deserves it more than any other player "
Lydia Kefhilwe, Botswana

A fairly poor selection to choose from but Khan has to get it. He has got Germany all the way on his own, without him they would never have progressed this far.Quite honestly though how important or representative is this selection? FIFA have already shown by selecting Ronaldo as the most important player in 1998, above Zidane, and Campbell above Rio in the previous shortlist for this year that they really haven't a clue.
Matt Evans, England

This was a hard call. Emotionally, I wanted to go with Ronaldo. He's on form; he plays, he scores. Nevertheless, other Brazilians have done that. The Germans, on the other hand, would have been long gone, but for Oliver Kahn.
John Turner, USA

I truly believe that Ronaldo deserves the Golden Ball, as well as the World Cup winner's medal and the top scorer, simply because he's back, and the torment he has been through in injury!

El-Hadji deserves it more than any other player. He was playing in his first World Cup, for an underrated team, but still managed to shine. Had it not been for his incredible skills, Senegal wouldn't have scored the goals that got them through. What a play maker!!!
Lydia Kefhilwe, Botswana

Who should win the Golden Ball? Easy choice! Brazil has been four times champion, it will play its seventh final, it has played the last three finals, it has the best scorer so far, 6 victories, it has shown skill and determination to win. It has four players short listed - just pick one. I would go for Rivaldo myself.
Vilson, Brazil

" Kahn has to win it - his saves have been phenomenal and have kept Germany in the competition "
Ben, UK

Cafu is the best player of the tournament by far and it's ridiculous that he isn't included. Of the players included either Ronaldo for a welcome return to form or Kahn for carrying Germany to the final should get the award.
Wesley Doherty,Northern Ireland

How Rio is not on the list is beyond me. Did Fifa go to any England games? He had Larsson, Batistuta, Tomasson, Rivaldo and Ronaldo in his pocket! Fifa even had big Sol on the list ahead of Rio. In my opinion, Rio is the best defender in the world.

Of those on the list Ballack and Kahn are the top two. Think about it, Brazil have 23 Ronaldos in their squad, so his job is made easy! Ballack and Kahn have guided possibly the worst team in the tournament to the final itself.
James, England

There has been a lack of consistent quality performances from outfield players, so Kahn has to win it - his saves have been phenomenal and have kept Germany in the competition.
Ben, UK

In a disappointing World Cup where no one player has stood out, I guess you would have to go for Ollie Kahn, simply for keeping Germany in the tournament on numerous occasions.
Jim Glover,England

No footballer has combined all it takes in the name of soccer, other than El Hadji Diof of Senegal!
John Rajabu, Tanzania

" Michael Ballack has been a class act and it's a personal shame he will miss the final "
Jon Baylis, UK

Diouf gets my vote. It's a simple matter of looking at the list and picking the one who not only justified but by far exceeded World Cup expectations. He took his chance to shine on the world stage with some aplomb-those delightfully placed flick passes, that stupendous ball control, and most memorably, making the French defence look like amateurs to set up that historic goal for Diop which set the tone for this crazy, crazy World Cup.
Vishal, UAE

Diouf but not Duff!! Oh come on!

Michael Ballack has been a class act and it's a personal shame he will miss the final. Himself and Kahn have been outstanding but Ballack just shades it. Watch him perform with Bayern Munich next season in the Champions League. He would though, be second to Rio if he'd been nominated.
Jon Baylis, UK

Hong Myung-bo is the best player in the World Cup. He is the best defender and libero, and the most valuable player in his team.
Kim Jeong-ok,Korea

" The best goalkeeper of the tournament deserves the Golden Ball "
Guenther Baron, Germany

There is only one Ronaldo. Rivaldo is excellent but Ronaldo is awesome. He is a nightmare to the opposing defenders and his six goals so far in this tournament attest to this fact.
Emeka Igwe, Nigeria

Clearly what the world of soccer needs is such skilful players like Hasan Sas to make the game more attractive and enjoyable to watch. Thanks a lot, Hasan.
Erol Uygur, Turkey

Both the Germans Ballack and Kahn are deserving, but the athletic goalie is the most important player on their side. Without him, they may not have made it to the last 16. Ronaldo makes it to the top three podium as well.
Rando Wilson, USA

Damien Duff. And I'm English.
Adam Cage,England

The best goalkeeper of the tournament deserves the Golden Ball. Otherwise I would have voted for Ronaldinho or Michael Ballack.
Guenther Baron, Germany

For a player to have played so few games prior to a tournament, then produce consistently at the highest level, must be something special. He may be surrounded by great providers, but Ronaldo deserves the accolade for sheer determination to play again, never mind be the top scorer at the World Cup.
Anthony, England

Hasan Sas just ahead of Oliver Kahn.He has been inspirational for Turkey since the Brazil game, and has continually attacked and probed against whoever he has played and showed skill and determination.

" I am tipping Brazil for the cup and Ronaldo of course for the Golden Ball "
Louis Ndimele, Nigeria

Hong Myung-Bo is world's best player!!
Yim Kang-jae,South Korea

Since 1982, the winner of the World Cup Golden Ball has always been a member of the winning team. This year's should not be an exception. Why? Because there must be that special personality in the winning team to give them that required edge: Bruno Conti in '82, Maradona in '86, Lothar Matheus in' 90, Romario in 1994 and Zidane in 1998.

I am tipping Brazil for the cup and Ronaldo of course for the Golden Ball. Face it, his presence has given the Brazilian team extra bite and strength. How did they fare in the qualifiers in his absence?
Louis Ndimele, Nigeria

Although Diouf did not score goals he created the most important goal of the tounament, the winning goal against France. His skill, speed and attitude got the better of most defenders and their strategies.
Shahied, South Africa

What no Rio? Maybe Ronaldo deserves the Golden Ball (and the Boot) but Rio Ferdinand has been a class apart from all other centre-backs in the tournament and certainly deserved to be nominated.
Blair King, UK

" From a poor assortment Hasan Sas gets my click "

Hong Myung-Bo is the best soccer player in the world.We Koreans love him very much.
Yoon Jung Min,South Korea

Hong Myung-Bo is the national hero for all Korean people, even if not that many people notice his excellent performance because of his defensive position. Determination, devotion, and dedication are words describing Hong's honourable qualities.
Ryan Jun, Korea

So what does Rustu have to do to get on the list, collect a red card for stamping maybe? From a poor assortment Hasan Sas gets my click. Great skill, tireless worker, and the only guy who doesn't indulge in post-goal histrionics.

Kahn has carried a poor German side on his shoulders all the way to the final! May he soon retire so we can win Euro 2004!

" Ballack has come into the World Cup with the weight of a nation "
Tom Slater,Wales

Much as it sticks in my craw, the man of the World Cup is probably Oliver Kahn. It has nothing to with his nationality; it is because he is a goalkeeper and I would rather see players in attacking, constructive positions win such awards - Ronaldo's return is a fantastic story - ahead of stoppers and those in negative ones.

Kahn has ensured a dull, unimaginative, technically not very good German team has advanced to a final. One only has to look at who Germany has beaten to get to reach the final to realise how 'lucky' they have been. Saudi Arabia, Ireland, Cameroon, Paraguay, USA and South Korea is about as easy a schedule as you could get and Germany have managed a total six goals against the last five of these teams.

Just to expand on their lack of imagination, apart from one against Cameroon and a couple against Saudi, all their goals have come from crosses, and mainly headers.

Kahn's outstanding performances against Ireland, Cameroon and the USA in particular have kept Germany in the competition and without him; they may not even have got out of the groups. I know that he was only doing what he was paid to do - stop goals - but, to me, he has performed better (and made fewer mistakes) in his position than any other player in theirs.
David, England

Ballack has come into the World Cup with the weight of a nation and has been one of the few Germans to show any real genuine talent. He runs the show from the middle of park and is lethal with his head. He has had three goals in six games plus four assists. He will be missed in the final.
Tom Slater,Wales

Why is Duff not on this List?
Brian Dineen,Ireland

Michael Ballack should be voted as the player of the tournament so far, as he has almost single handedly taken Germany to the World Cup final with an average Germany team with his goals.
Chris Mottola, England

" Rivaldo has produced most of the killer passes that have resulted in victory for Brazil "
Lesley Tjiueza, Namibai

It's got to be Hasan Sas: a pure joy to watch he even looks like a James Bond baddie!
Mikey, Wales

There is one man I would have in my team - Duff of Ireland. He, surely, should have been in the top ten list. There must be mass amnesia circulating.
Peter Levy, Belgium

Difficult choice as no one player has shone consistently enough throughout the tournament. I would also have included Damien Duff in the shortlist. However, for his electrifying pace & skill, together with the shock of seeing France eliminated (plus I'm also a Liverpool fan!), the winner has to be Diouf.
Martyn Lewis, UK

I will definitely go for Rivaldo. Despite him being accused of cheating he has been in his own form. Rivaldo has produced most of the killer passes that have resulted in victory for Brazil.
Lesley Tjiueza, Namibai

" Is Roberto Carlos the most over-rated player of all time? "
Jordan Peters, England

Ronaldo is the best striker of the world.

I think El Hadji Diouf has been the best player of the finals. He has shown so much superiority on the ball compare to others. The only person that comes anywhere near him is the phenomenal Ronaldo. But this time Diouf has won it outright.
Sheriff Sanno, The Gambia (in UK)

Is Roberto Carlos the most over-rated player of all time? He's done NOTHING in this World Cup apart from score one free-kick against poor opposition. Every corner he takes hits the nearest defender or goes long. Every shot he takes (usually from 30-50yrds) is blocked or goes horrible wide. The guy is (a) one trick pony.....rubbish.
Jordan Peters, England

Ronaldinho will surely be the best player of the 2002 World Cup. Had it not been for his superb skills and almost perfect passes, his team-mates Rivaldo and Ronaldo would not have gone on goal scoring spree.
Mulualem Denbegna,Ethiopia

" Ronaldo has been the best player in the World Cup with his movement, finishing, pace and strength "
Stewart Gofford, England

Ronaldo has demonstrated his outstanding skills especially taking all chances within the 18-yard box and giving all it takes to score. He is also more consistent and disciplined.
Moses Njie, Gambia, West Africa

My own personal favourite player in the current World Cup is Spain's right-back Pujol; he did not put a foot wrong and also after their controversial defeat by South Korea left the field with dignity and did not get embroiled in the after match arguments. Even in bitter defeat he showed true class.
Terry Harbron,England

Oliver Kahn is the only player who has shown his full quality in full extent throughout the tournament. Without him, the German team would most probably not be playing in the finals!
Julia, Germany

By far Ronaldo has been the best player in the World Cup with his movement, finishing, pace and strength he has finally become the player he was again.
Stewart Gofford, England

" Ronaldo is the bigger name, but Kahn has done the business "
Mark Williams, Netherlands

Where is Rio Ferdinand on the World Cup Golden Ball list? Did they forget he played? How can the likes of Ronaldinho be on there when he was sent off? Ballack had two yellow cards...etc, etc.
Kate Hall, England

Ronaldo might be the brightest star in a squad brim-full of talent, but Oliver Kahn is the sole reason why a mediocre German side has reached the final, conceding just one goal along the way. Ronaldo is the bigger name, but Kahn has done the business.
Mark Williams, Netherlands

Are these nominations based on reputation or actual performances in this World Cup? While I couldn't argue with most of them, I'd certainly take issue with the inclusion of Roberto Carlos. There's no doubting he is a fantastic player, but if this award is about individual performance he has been nothing better than average (even Terry Butcher proclaimed him as having a nightmare against Turkey). Same goes for Hierro - again a fantastic player but has he really performed so well as to be regarded one of the best two defenders in the tournament.

I find it unbelievable that Rio Ferdinand was not in the final 10 and even more so that Fifa's 'expert' committee rated the clumsy Sol Campbell as a better defender in this tournament than Ferdinand. Clearly, being outstanding in each of the games you play in the tournament is not one of the criteria for being one of the tournament's best players.
Steve, Scotland

" Hasan Sas has been quite outstanding "
Philip Stephens,Wales

Rivaldo can't be allowed to win after his disgraceful antics in the first match against Turkey.
Mike, England

I don't rate Ronaldinho. He has only played one good game all tournament and his free kick was a lucky cross. For pure excitement you can't go past Diouf but I would have to say that Kahn deserves it. I don't like Germans and don't think they deserve to be in the final, but Kahn deserves credit for getting such an average team to the final.
Simon, Australia

Hasan Sas has been quite outstanding and has played very good against all teams.
Philip Stephens,Wales

How can Ronaldo be considered? This is supposed to be an award for football and fair play not acting and cheating. Let's hope common sense prevails and true sportsmanship and talent, not politics is used to decide the winner.
Glenn Jordan, England

" The best player of the tournament, by a mile, has been Cafu "
David, Scotland

I feel that the best two players have been left off this list. Claudio Reyna of the USA was for me the best midfielder in the tournament and Rustu Recber the Turkish keeper is up there with Oliver Kahn.

However, in this pole I have gone for Oliver Kahn as he has been superb for the Germans and without him they would not have reached the final.
Steven Brett,England

Rio Ferdinand and Nicky Butt should have been in the ten. On second thoughts Nicky Butt is and was the best player of the tournament.
Howard Balkind, England

My vote from the shortlist goes to Ronaldinho, but only because Ronaldo hasn't been fully fit. However, for me, the best player of the tournament, by a mile, has been Cafu. He has been immense. He covers every blade of grass on the park, never wastes a ball and is defensively rock solid. Apart from patrolling the right side of the park, he pops up as centre-forward one minute before making a vital last gasp challenge as centre-half the next minute. He could beat most teams over there on his own!!!!!
David, Scotland

Ferdinand not on the list, Morientes not on the list, Rustu not on the list? And why was Roberto "one good free kick" Carlos even in the initial top 33? In fact, why would he be in the top 133? From the poor choice that's been presented, Kahn, Hierro, or Ronaldhino would get my vote, but only because of the absence of my top three.
Keith, Northern Ireland

" Ronaldinho should win because he creates magic whenever he touches the ball "
Dilbag Singh,Malaysia

Ronaldinho will win the Golden Ball because the boy is good and skilful and is a player that you can rely on to become best player in the world.
Niyi Brown, Nigeria

It's been a great World Cup and there have been lots of good players on show. I think we need to look at the players who don't grab the headlines but have performed really well. Above what is expected of them compared to players where they're expected to perform. I think Basturk of Turkey was great to watch and played exceptionally well.
Mohamed Jiva, England

For any player to be short listed is a great achievement but with only a 70% fitness level in this tournament and six goals in six matches, Ronaldo more than deserves this honour.
Farid, England

Ronaldinho should win the Golden Ball award because he creates magic whenever he touches the ball. He can weave through players either on the right or left side. His free kick was also one of the best in the whole tournament. He has shown great spirit despite getting a red card for the England-Brazil's game.
Dilbag Singh,Malaysia

" An honourable mention should go out to Ahn Jung Hwan and Park Ji Sung from South Korea "
James, France/England

I find Ronaldo the best attacker of the world. He is super star after all those gruelling years due to injury. He deserves the golden Ball once again. I like him to the bottom of my heart.
Bekalu Molla, Ethiopia

Hasan Sas has been in my view the player of the tournament. His skill and determination were never more evident than in the semi-final against Brazil. A 'never say die' attitude!!
Michael Williams, Zimbabwe

Taking into consideration that Senegal entered the World Cup Finals for the first time, it needed high morale, dedication and team spirit. Without the great efforts of Diouf, the team couldn't have even managed to make it out of the first round.
Thomas Robert Mayombya, Tanzania

It has to be Ronaldo; Brazil's version of Big-Ron has been amazing in this year's World Cup Finals (how on earth did he win it over Zidane in 1998?). I also think that an honourable mention should go out to Ahn Jung Hwan and Park Ji Sung from South Korea both players have been fantastic and instrumental in South Korea's success.
James, France/England

" If England had beaten Brazil, Rio Ferdinand and Nicky Butt would have been on the short list "

Oliver Kahn is far the best player in the tournament. If he wasn't there, the Germans would have no chance. Now they'll probably win. He has not made one single mistake, Seaman made ONE and England were out. Sad - but true.
Tórarinn, Faroe Islands

El-Haji Diouf is the best of all; followed by Hasan Sas of Turkey and Ronaldhino of Brazil.
Abiy Merid, Ethiopia

As far as this tournament goes you would have to vote for a Brazilian due to the fantastic flair they have injected into the World Cup. If England had beaten Brazil, Rio Ferdinand and Nicky Butt would have been on the short list.

Ronaldo will win the Golden Ball.
Adeniyi Balogun,Nigeria

" Oliver Kahn is the only rock in this German side "
Tom Macdonald, Scotland

Rivaldo has shown unique and different skills in each game Brazil have played. And apart from the semi-final encounter, Rivaldo has scored in all other games and has contributed to some other goals. He deserves to win the World Cup Golden Goal and Ball.
Kunda Mwila, Zambia

I am sorry to say that I think this World Cup has been distinctly average in terms of outstanding players. It says something that my nomination, from the list is Oliver Kahn - defensively he has been superb and the Germans would have been on their way home.

I have to say that my lasting memory of the World Cup will be Salif Diao 's goal that he scored when Senegal went from one end of the pitch to the other - pure class- let's hope he does more of that at Anfield next season - and shows up Roy Keane for the overpaid fraud that he is!!!
Bruce, UK

Maybe when Fifa's 'technical study group' meet up - how cosy - they'll remember Rivaldo's curious physiology that means he clutches his face and falls writhing on the floor when a ball grazes his thigh. I don't care if he scores a hat-trick in the final by a 40-yard volley, stunning bicycle kick or sublime header. This guy has GOT to learn. Then again, it's Fifa we're talking about...
Lalissimo, Soldeu, Andorra

Oliver Kahn is the only rock in this German side, he looks as though he's been chiselled from a block of granite. Definitely the Golden Gloves of this tournament. His saves are worth one or two goals a game.
Tom Macdonald, Scotland

" Hong Myung-Bo of South Korea has shown the true spirit of what an international player should be "
Calvin, England

I think Ronaldo is a worthy winner of the Golden Ball because his return from injury has been absolutely remarkable and a credit to the man and the top scorer in the tournament and deservedly so. The one thing I cannot understand is why Cafu is not in the shortlist. This is an absolutely terrible decision because for me he has been one of the players of the tournament.
Dominic Henry, Northern Ireland

Senegal's El-Hadji Diouf being his first time on the world stage with such impressive performances deserves the Golden Ball more than many. I hope he will be selected.
Bakary Keita, UK

Hong Myung-Bo of South Korea should win as he has shown the true spirit of what an international player should be. Who else was in four World Cup finals and has served his country so well?

My second choice is Ballack whose selflessness contrasted with the English players. I am sad that he will not be in the final match but he made a necessary tactical foul to defend his team and accepted that was the price of getting a second yellow.

If a certain Paul G. had been so selfless and continue to perform for England despite getting a second yellow in Italia '90, we might have won the World Cup that year. I hope the rest of the German team will play the best and bring Ballack and all themselves winner's medals.
Calvin, England

I voted for Hasan Sas. He is the most pleasant surprise of this tournament for many football supporters. He's a very versatile and skilful player.
Amir, Kosovo

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