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Nedved triumphs in World Soccer award
Pavel Nedved's performances for Juventus and the Czech Republic have earned him this year's accolade as the world's best player.
Monday, 22 December 2003


He gained more than a third of the votes from World Soccer readers in our 22nd annual poll. 

The 31-year-old was the outstanding player for Juventus as they retained the Italian League title and reached the Champions League Final. 

Nedved missed that game through suspension after being booked in the semi-final, when his spectacular performance was a major factor in the defeat of competition favourites Real Madrid. 

Juventus lost the Final on penalties to Milan, winners of our Team of the Year award and coached by Carlo Ancelotti, our 2003 World Manager of the Year. 

Nedved saw off some strong competition for the player award. Ruud Van Nistelrooy's goalscoring exploits for Manchester United and Holland won enough votes to secure second place, ahead of Raul, the consistently brilliant Real Madrid forward. 

Paolo Maldini, winner of the award in 1994, came fourth - a recognition of his achievement in winning a fourth European Cup with Milan. 

Thierry Henry, France's best player when they won the Confederations Cup in the summer, finished fifth, ahead of last year's winner, Ronaldo, in sixth place. 

Carlo Ancelotti took the manager award after guiding Milan to a sixth European Cup. He is the fourth Italian to win the prize, following Enzo Bearzot (1982), Arrigo Sacchi (1989) and Dino Zoff (2000). 

Marcello Lippi of Juventus, Ancelotti's opposing number in the Champions League Final, finished second, ahead of Jose Mourinho, coach of UEFA Cup winners FC Porto. Manchester United's Alex Ferguson, winner of the award in 1999, was fourth, beating Martin O'Neill of Celtic into fifth place. Carlos Bianchi, boss of Libertadores Cup winners Boca Juniors, was next, followed by Real Sociedad's French coach Raynald Denoueix.

Voting in the World Team of the Year category followed a similar pattern, with Milan holding off Juventus for a double celebration.

Real Madrid's popularity is reflected in their third-place finish, but there is also recognition for FC Porto and Real Sociedad. 

The Czech Republic were the highest-placed international side, in sixth place, ahead of France.
  - World Soccer



---------------------------------------------------------------------- Awards  

Poll Details

Player % of votes
Pavel Nedved 35.9
Ruud Van Nistelrooij 9.5
Raśl Gonzalez 9.1
Paolo Maldini 8.2
Thierry Henry 6.1
Ronaldo 4.3
Roy Makaay 4.0
Andriy Shevchenko 2.8
Roberto Carlos 2.6
David Beckham 2.1


% of votes

Milan 23.4
Juventus 13.8
Real Madrid 10.5
Boca Juniors 7.5
Porto 5.6
Czech Republic 5.2
France 4.9
Real Sociedad 3.9
Celtic 2.2
Stuttgart 1.7


% of votes

Carlo Ancelotti 19.6
Marcello Lippi 11.4
Jose Mourinho 10.9
Alex Ferguson 7.5
Martin O'Neill 6.0
Carlos Bianchi 5.4
Raynald Denoueix 4.1
Vicente Del Bosque 3.0
Jacques Santini  2.8
Felix Magath 2.2


* France Football Golden Ball

* FIFA Awards Gala

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