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Nedved wins Golden Ball

Guest Jeffery S.

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Guest Jeffery S.

Pavel Nedved has won European player of the year, the award given by voting by France Football correspondents in Europe. Zidane, voted top FIFA player, only came fifth. Ronaldo, last year's winner, came 11th. This is obviously a more reliable award, based more on real results in the actual year. Though it is interesting that Shevchenko came fourth here and was rated highly in the FIFA rating, when in the Ukraine he was not even voted best Ukrainian player of the year. I forget (or can't spell, or both) the player who won that.

What I think we are really missing is an award going to career acheivment to be given each year, say to a player over thirty. This way Maldini would have won that, and Baresi, one of the great European players of the last 20 years, would have also been recognized towards the end of his career.

Article from UEFA:

Nedved claims Ballon d'Or

Monday, 22 December 2003

Juventus FC midfield player Pavel Nedved has been voted European Footballer of the Year, organisers France Football magazine have announced.

Nedved shone for Juve in the UEFA Champions League

Fine year

The 31-year-old Czech international claimed his first Ballon d'Or - Golden Ball - after inspiring Juve's run to the 2002/03 Scudetto and UEFA Champions League final, a match Nedved missed through suspension. On the international stage he helped the Czech Republic win UEFA EURO 2004™ qualifying Group 3 ahead of the Netherlands, and they are considered serious contenders to triumph in Portugal.

Nedved stunned

"I did not even dream of winning such an award," said Nedved. "I'm very happy to receive such an important, such an extraordinary honour. I heard about the nominees and being among them but I did not fancy my chances too much. A lot of players had good seasons like Paolo Maldini, Raúl [González], [Zinedine] Zidane. All of them deserved to win."

Henry pipped

Nedved was also named 2003 Czech athlete of the year this week. He is the first Czech to claim the Ballon d'Or since Josef Masopust claimed the award in 1962. In the vote of journalists from UEFA's 52 member countries, he finished 62 points ahead of his nearest competitior, Arsenal FC's French striker Thierry Henry.

Madrid quartet

Paolo Maldini's reward for leading AC Milan to the Champions League title was third place, while last year's winner Ronaldo ended eleventh. However, four of his Real Madrid CF team-mates - Zinedine Zidane, Raúl González, Roberto Carlos and summer signing David Beckham - made the top ten. Zidane was recently named 2003 FIFA World Player of the Year, but was only fifth in this poll.


1 Pavel Nedved (Juventus FC) 190 points

2 Thierry Henry (Arsenal FC) 128

3 Paolo Maldini (AC Milan) 123

4 Andriy Shevchenko (AC Milan) 67

5 Zinedine Zidane (Real Madrid CF) 64

6 Ruud van Nistelrooij (Manchester United FC) 61

7 Raúl González (Real Madrid CF) 32

8 Roberto Carlos (Real Madrid CF) 27

9 Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus FC) 19

10 David Beckham (Manchester United FC & Real Madrid CF) 17

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Yeah, these voters seemed to have gotten it correct! Nedved was definitely better than the 3 FIFA finalists.... Shevchenko finishing 4th seems about right too. Not sure why he wasn't best Ukrainian player but I'm guessing its just cuz they don't wanna give that award to the same guy 20 years in a row!??

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Oleg Venhylynsky from Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk was the Ukrainian Player of the Year for 2003.


Dnipro is having a very successful run in the UEFA cup this year and Oleg has played a very big role in their success. They have beaten Vaduz, HSV Hamburg and Dinamo Zagreb - all overwhelmingly. Their next matchup is against Marseilles, who I believe they will beat as well.

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Guest Jeffery S.

Thanks Jarrek, my comment was made in the hope you'd clear this up for us. Don't really know him, not helped but not easily catching the name.

But has he really been better than Shevchenko this year? And how many years has the AC Milan striker won the award, maybe Amacpher has a point?

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I totally agree. Shevchenko should have gotten the award, but Venhylynsky certainly would have been a close second. I think the problem with Ukrainian soccer is that while the club sides are finding some reasonable success, the National side is surely lacking.

Dnipro UEFA Cup 2003/2004

Qualifying Round - Dnipro advances 2-0 on aggregate, Venhylynsky injured both matches

Vaduz 0 Dnipro 1 - Rykun(88)

Dnipro 1 Vaduz 0 - Rykun(75)

1st Round - Dnipro advances 4-2 on aggregate

HSV Hamburg 2 Dnipro 1 - Venhylynsky(10)

Dnipro 3 HSV Hamburg 0 - Mykhailenko(5), Rykun(68), Venhlinskyy(79)

2nd Round - Dnipro advances 3-1 on aggregate

Dinamo Zagreb 0 Dnipro 2 - Venhylynsky(8), Maksymyuk(84)

Dnipro 1 Dinamo Zagreb 1 - Venhylynsky(64)

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