European Football Betting

Arsenal and France goalscorer Thierry Henry is the 6/4 bet favourite with the bookies for the 2006 European Player of the Year Award. French soccer magazine France Football gives the “Ballon d’Or” to the top European Footballer of the calendar year.

Italian players usually feature robustly in the betting after their achievements in Germany at this year’s World Cup. Fabio Cannavaro is priced at 100/30, goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon is quoted at 20/1 and free kick specialist Andrea Pirlo at 25/1 odds.

Champions League title holders Barcelona also have several players featuring notably in the list. Last year’s winner Ronaldinho is backable at 4/1, striker Samuel Eto’o at 6/1 odds and Catalan defender Carles Puyol at 16/1.

A journalist from every UEFA-participating European country votes for his top five players from the current shortlist of 50. The footballer with the most votes will be confirmed the winner in mid-December.

Facts about the “Ballon d’Or”:
· This will be the 51st year of the award.
· Juventus are the club with most players who have won it (8).
· Germany and Holland are the countries with most winners (7 each).
· The only goalkeeper to ever win the award was Lev Yashin in 1963.
· 3 players have won it thrice – Johan Cruyff, Michel Platini and Marco Van Basten.
· Until 1995 only European-born players were eligible for the award.
· George Weah was the first non-European winner of the award in 1995.

Here are selected prices for the European Player of the Year Award:
(Odds provided by SportingOdds bookmaker)

Thierry Henry 6/4, Fabio Cannavaro 100/30, Ronaldinho 4/1, Samuel Eto’o 6/1, Carles Puyol 16/1, Miroslav Klose 18/1, Gianluigi Buffon 20/1, Andrea Pirlo 25/1, Deco 28/1, Franck Ribery 28/1, Steven Gerrard 28/1, Zinedine Zidane 28/1, Genaro Gattuso 40/1, Didier Drogba 40/1, Gianluca Zambrotta 40/1, Kaka 40/1, Luca Toni 40/1, Fabio Grosso 50/1. Visit the SportingOdds website for more and claim a £30 Free Bet, click here