Italian protest

Italy coach Antonio Conte and captain Gianluigi Buffon did not participate in the Ballon d'Or vote at the request of their federation in protest at Buffon's absence from the list of candidates, Italian media reported yesterday.

The veteran goalkeeper did not make the preliminary list released in October with five chosen ahead of him - Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Iker Casillas (Porto), Thibaut Courtois (Chelsea), Claudio Bravo (Barcelona) and David Ospina (Arsenal).

And in the voting list released after the award ceremony yesterday morning (Singapore time), the results for the Italian coach and captain were missing, although the Italian journalists voted.

Italy fans feel Buffon deserved his place more than former Real Madrid goalkeeper Casillas, Bravo and Ospina. At 37, he is still first choice for his country and Juventus, whom he helped reach the Champions League final last season.

- AFP.

Ballon d’OrItalygianluigi buffonAntonio Conte