UEFA Women's Cup holders Umeå IK have three players on the shortlist for the FIFA World Player Gala.
By Paul Saffer
UEFA Women's Cup holders Umeå IK have three players on the women's shortlist for the FIFA World Player Gala 2004.
Marta, signed by the Swedish club just before last season's semi-finals, scored on all four of her appearances in the competition - including three in the two-legged final against 1. FFC Frankfurt, won 8-0 on aggregate by Umeå. The Brazilian striker, who went on to win an Olympic silver, is joined on the short list by Swedish club-mates Hanna Ljungberg and Malin Moström. Ljungberg's international strike partner, Victoria Svensson of Djurgården/Alvsjö, is also nominated.
Frankfurt may have been beaten in last season's final and missed out on this term's tournament after 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam won the German title, but they have the honour of two nominees - last year's winner Birgit Prinz and Renate Lingor. Also nominated from Germany are FCR 2001 Duisburg goalkeeper Silke Rottenberg and FFC Heike Rheine's Kerstin Stegemann.
The remaining two Europeans chosen by FIFA are FCF Juvisy and France forward Marinette Pichon and Kolbotn IL's Bente Nordby, the Norway goalkeeper. The Gala is held in Zurich on 20 December, with the winners decided by the votes of every national team coach and captain