In December 2003, Nedvěd was named World Footballer of the Year by World Soccer magazine. Later that month, he won the European Footballer of the Year award over Thierry Henry and Paolo Maldini, the second Czech to win the award after Josef Masopust in 1962.
The 2003 Ballon d'Or, given to the best football player in Europe as judged by a panel of sports journalists from UEFA member countries, was awarded to the Czech midfielder Pavel Nedvěd on 22 December 2003.
Andriy Shevchenko was the third Ukrainian to win the award after Oleh Blokhin (1975) and Igor Belanov (1986). He finished top goalscorer in the 2003–04 Serie A, scoring 24 goals in 32 matches, as his team won the league title.
The 2003 FIFA World Player of the Year award was won by Zinedine Zidane for a record-equalling third time.
Described as one of the best footballers of his generation, he is also regarded as one of the most successful players to emerge from the Czech Republic, winning domestic and European accolades with Italian clubs Lazio, including the last Cup Winners' Cup, and Juventus, whom he led to the 2003 UEFA Champions League ...
Today in 2001, Michael Owen won the Ballon d'Or.
Over 1,000 players participated in the match, playing for sides named "Internazionale Manchester" and "Real Mancunian", in reference to Italian club Inter Milan and Spanish club Real Madrid. Internazionale Manchester won the match 252–162.
Pavel Nedved (2003)
Having scored 42 goals and notched 26 assists in a calendar year, Thierry Henry was seen as the frontrunner for the 2003 Ballon d'Or. But in one of the biggest upsets in the history of the award, it was Juventus star Pavel Nedved who was crowned the winner.
David Beckham 1999
Beckham finished second in the run-in for the prestigious title, losing to Rivaldo by 65 votes, whilst the Englishman did finish an almighty 90 votes ahead of third-placed Andriy Shevchenko. Rivaldo was, however, astronomical that campaign.
Striker: Thierry Henry
Thierry Henry's long list of personal and team honours during his time with Arsenal had a couple of notable accolades missing, with the Ballon d'Or and Champions League title evading the World Cup winner.
Cristiano Ronaldo has won the 2008 Ballon D'Or award by an overwhelming margin. Ronaldo comfortably beat his main rivals Messi and is now the fourth Manchester United player (after Law, Charlton and Best) and the first England-based player since Michael Owen to win the France Football award.
2009: Messi's first Ballon d'Or
Messi polled 473 votes that year, more than double than the player in second place, Cristiano. In doing so, he became the first player to have come through the youth system at Barça and win the award.
Lionel Messi was crowned Ballon d'Or for the seventh time on Monday and we can now bring you the final rankings for the men's award. The Argentine held off Bayern Munich's prolific striker Robert Lewandowski who was second with Chelsea's Jorginho third.
Again facing a number of injury worries, and frequently a substitute, Owen nevertheless won the only Premier League title of his career with United in 2011. Released by the club in 2012, Owen made a handful of appearances for Stoke City the following season, before announcing his retirement in 2013.
Cristiano Ronaldo remains the most successful player in this category having won the award a record seven times. His rival Lionel Messi comes second in the list, having won the boot on six occasions.
Messi won the last Ballon d'Or award presented in 2019. The 2020 edition was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Lewandowski was widely believed to be the likely winner before it was controversially scratched.
The 1999 Ballon d'Or, given to the best football player in Europe as judged by a panel of sports journalists from UEFA member countries, was awarded to Rivaldo on 21 December 1999.