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Ivan Vicelich's second wind as an international soccer player has brought him a Fifa award.
The veteran All Whites defender has been named Oceania's player of the year, for being part of the World Cup finals qualification and leading Auckland City with success in the club World Cup in Abu Dhabi, where they finished fifth.
Vicelich said in Johannesburg the award was a "great honour".
He was proud to have his name listed alongside players such as Wynton Rufer, Harry Kewell, Tim Cahill, Shane Smeltz and Mark Bosnich.
With Australia now in the Asian federation, New Zealand players are more likely to win the award.
Vicelich came out of international retirement last year, covering for the injured Ryan Nelsen at the Confederations Cup.
He played many seasons in the Dutch first division and is the only New Zealander to play in three Confederations Cup finals.
But his soccer life is not all rosy at the moment, having been dropped in favour of Tommy Smith for the All Whites' past two matches.
"It hasn't been the greatest, but that's life, that's reality," he said in Johannesburg. "I think the award reflects that the two teams I played for, the All Whites and Auckland City, had great seasons."
Portugal winger Nani was ruled out of the World Cup yesterday because of a bruised left collarbone.
The Portuguese football federation said on its website the Manchester United player was unfit to play despite receiving treatment for several days.
The 23-year-old Nani will be replaced by uncapped Benfica winger Ruben Amorim if the federation's request to Fifa is successful.
Portugal coach Carlos Queiroz said Nani hurt his collarbone before Portugal left Lisbon last Saturday and had been undergoing treatment.
"Unfortunately, he didn't make it. They've been three difficult days," Queiroz said. "In my 30 years as a coach, I've never seen a player so determined to get better."
The announcement came a little more than an hour before Portugal beat Mozambique 3-0 in a warm-up game before its June 16 World Cup opener against Ivory Coast.
Nani last played on June 1, playing the second half and scoring in Portugal's 3-1 win over Cameroon in a friendly at home.
Queiroz will be especially disappointed after Nani had a breakthrough season at Man United, which narrowly lost the Premier League title to Chelsea.
Nani was Portugal's second highest scorer in the qualifying campaign with three goals. The 23-year-old winger's absence means Cristiano Ronaldo and Simao Sabrosa will likely occupy Portugal's attacking flanks, with Amorim in reserve.
Queiroz had included Amorim on the squad's standby list.
- additional reporting AP