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Rionaldinho Wins World Player of the Year


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From BBC Sport


Barcelona's Brazilian forward Ronaldinho has won the Fifa 2004 World Player of the Year award.

The 24-year-old edged out Arsenal's Thierry Henry and AC Milan striker Andriy Shevchenko to the prize.


Ronaldinho won the vote - by coaches and captains from international sides - with 620 points, while Henry had 552 and Shevchenko accumulated 253.


"I must thank my Barcelona colleagues because I could not have won it without them," said Ronaldinho.



It was the second successive year that Henry has finished as runner-up in the poll based on the verdict of 157 international coaches and, for the first time this year, 145 national team captains.


Five points were awarded for a first place nomination, three for second and one for third. Ronaldinho gained 89 first place votes, Henry 79 and Shevchenko 34.


Last year's winner Zinedine Zidane of Real Madrid, who announced his international retirement from the France team after Euro 2004, came fourth.


Juventus and Czech Republic midfielder Pavel Nedved, last year's European Footballer of the Year finished fifth.

Germany's Birgit Prinz won the women's award, ahead of American Mia Hamm and Brazilian youngster Marta.


Ronaldinho was quick to hail Henry and Shevchenko after collecting his award.


He also dismissed weekend speculation linking him with a move to Chelsea.


He added: "I am of course very happy to have won the award. Thierry Henry and Andriy Shevchenko are two great players, we could all have won the award.


"I feel very happy where I am at Barcelona and I will go on with my work in peace.


"I have everything I need at Barcelona, I am happy."


Henry admitted disappointment for not winning the trophy, but paid tribute to his two rivals.


He said: "If you do not win you cannot say you are happy but the other two are tremendous players.


"When you see what Shevchenko is doing in Serie A and Ronaldinho in Spain, they are the kind of players who make you jump off your seat.


"To be here two years in a row means I have been consistent for a long time and that really pleases me."

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Guest FreeSpirit
Schevchenko should have won World player of the year. He's better than Henry and Ronaldinho combined. Sheva seems to score what seems like every week and almost singlehandedly won AC Milan the Italian Championship last season. But then again I am an AC Milan fan so my opinion is extremely biased.
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Guest FreeSpirit
Gotta say he was consistaintly his teams and his countrys best player, and when those teams are Brazil and Barca yo know he's good.


Yeah he was consistantly the best player for Barcelona last and this season, but when you say Brazil as well I got to disagree. Ronaldo, Adriano, Kaka, Edu, Lucio, Ze Roberto and Luis Fabiano have all been awesome for Brazil en route to the South American Championship last year.

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