Paris: Andriy Shevchenko of AC Milan has been named European Footballer of the Year for 2004. The poll conducted by European football journalists from 52 countries organised by France Football magazine, voted for the 28-year-old Ukrainian for his outstanding scoring record for Milan since he joined the Italian side in 1999. Shevchenko has scored 102 goals in Serie A over the last six seasons and helped Milan win the Champions League in 2003 and the Italian title in 2004. Barcelona's Deco and Ronaldinho were second and third with Arsenal striker Thierry Henry fourth. Historic award The Golden Ball award dates back to 1956, when Englishman Stanley Matthews won, and is chosen in an annual poll of selected journalists from around the world. Arsenal striker Thierry Henry's 80 points placed him fourth, while Greece's Euro 2004 win was also taken into consideration with captain Theodoros Zagorakis in fifth with 44 points. Shevchenko was presented the 2004 Ballon d'Or by the director of France Football Gerard Ernault, and then dedicated his award to the Ukrainian people. Shevchenko takes over from Pavel Nedved, the Juventus and former Czech Republic midfielder having won last year's vote.
(With AP inputs)
Topics : Football