8 Blacks Among Finalists for 2004 European Footballer of the Year Award

By Andrew Dixon, III
Updated: November 11, 2004
George Weah

MIAMI, FLA.—50 names appear on the final list for the 2004 European Footballer of the Year Award awarded annually by France Football magazine.

Among the finalists are Portugal’s Deco who led FC Porto to an improbable UEFA Champions League Winner’s medal, the Ukraine’s Andrei Schevchenko whose pure class & 24 goals led AC Milan to its 17th “Scudetto”, Czech Republic striker Milan Baros who led all scorers at the 2004 European Championships (Euro2004) & Angelos Haristeas whose Greek squad shocked everyone by claiming the Euro 2004 trophy.

Eight Blacks are among the finalists for this prestigious award, to be awarded in December:

Adriano (Brazil – Inter Milan, Italy)- The Brazillian led his country to the 2004 South American Championship (Copa America) scoring 7 goals in the competition.

Ailton (Brazil – Schalke 04, Germany)-The roly poly Brazillian who isn’t even part of his National Team led former club Weder Bremen to its first German League (Bundesliga) title in 11 years.

Didier Drogba (Ivory Coast – Chelsea, England)-Led former side Olympique Marseille to the UEFA Cup (European Club Football’s NIT) Final before making a big money move to Chelsea.

Samuel Eto�o (Cameroon – Barcelona, Spain)-The reigning African Footballer of the Year has been simply unstoppable since moving to Barcelona.<p> Thierry Henry (France – Arsenal, England)-One of the favorites, he led Arsenal to a 49 match unbeaten streak they captured the English Premiership title. An inconsistent Euro2004 may hurt his chances of winning but he’s been pure class in 2004.

Henrik Larsson (Sweden – Barcelona, Spain)-Led Scottish giants Celtic to another championship and had a solid run at the Euro2004 tournament for Sweden before donning the Red and Blue of Barcelona.

Ronaldinho (Brazil – Barcelona, Spain)-Another favorite and in my opinion the best player on the planet right now, he has shown unbelievable skill since moving to Barca from Paris-St. Germain. He is one of the main reasons why Barca is back among Europe’s top club sides.

Clarence Seedorf (Netherlands – AC Milan, Italy)-Another solid season in the midfield for AC Milan helped the Black and Red capture another Scudetto.

Patrick Vieira (France – Arsenal, England)- The inspirational captain on England’s greatest ever club side. Almost went to Real Madrid but elected to stay on at Highbury.

The award has been given to one other Black player, George Weah. The Liberian forward captured, World, European and African player of the Year honors in 1995.