Ballon d'Or 2003
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. On 11 November 2003, was announced the shortlist of 50 male players compiled by a group of experts from France Football. There were 52 voters, from Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Estonia, Faroe Islands, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Scotland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, Wales and Yugoslavia. Each picked a first (5pts), second (4pts), third (3pts), fourth (2pts) and fifth choice (1pt).
Nedvěd was the second Czech player to win the award after Josef Masopust (1962). Gianluigi Buffon (Italy) was the top ranked goalkeeper in the list, at ninth place. Paolo Maldini (Italy) was the best ranked defender in third place, while Thierry Henry (France) was the top forward, at second place.
The following 24 men were originally in contention for the 2003 Ballon d’Or, but did not receive any votes:
- BBC Sport staff (22 December 2003). "Nedved scoops top award". BBC Sport.
- Leite, Augusto (11 November 2003). "Deco na corrida à Bola de Ouro" [Deco racing for the Ballon D'or]. Record (in Portuguese).
- Pierrend, José (26 March 2005). "European Footballer of the Year ("Ballon d'Or") 2003". RSSSF.