Podolski best young player at World Cup

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/A/Ap_podolski.jpg' class='caption'> German forward Lukas Podolski has been named Best Young Player at the World Cup.

Updated: February 25, 2007 11:35 IST
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German forward Lukas Podolski has been named Best Young Player at the World Cup. Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal was runner-up, according to FIFA. Other finalists were Lionel Messi of Argentina, Luis Valencia of Ecuador, Tranquillo Barnetta of Switzerland and Cesc Fabregas of Spain. Messi, Ronaldo and Valencia made the shortlist by finishing in the top three of fan voting via www.FIFAworldcup.com while Barnetta, Fabregas and Podolski were nominated by FIFA's Technical Study Group. Podolski finished fourth in the fan vote, which drew nearly one million ballots. The 14 members of the Technical Study Group decided the winner. The original field consisted of 40 players. "I would have very much liked to take another trophy home but I'm very very glad to have this," Podolski said. "It is a great honor for me to be given this award." Podolski, who turned 21 on June 4, has three goals in six matches at the tournament. The FC Cologne striker has teamed well with Miroslav Klose up front for the Germans. The award goes to "the player born on or after January 1, 1985, who makes the biggest impression at the FIFA World Cup ... criteria for the award include style, charisma, fair play and appetite for the game, as well as pure technical skill". "Lukas Podolski is a player who fulfills all the criteria," said former World Cup-winning captain Lothar Matthaeus. The award, sponsored by Gillette, is in its first year. (AP)

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