European Footballer of the Year 2000 nominees: Figo, Zizou, 6 from Man Utd

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On this day in 2000, the nominees for the European Footballer of the Year were announced in what was a vintage year for Manchester United.

For the second consecutive season, six United players were among the list of players considered the best on the continent.

To put that into context, Real Madrid, who were at the beginning of their Galactico era and had just won the Champions League, only received five nominations.

Five more English-based players were among the 49-man longlist: Thierry Henry, Marcel Desailly, Didier Deschamps and Sylvain Wiltord were all members of the France squad which had won Euro 2000, while Dennis Bergkamp also received a nomination.

However, the eventual award, which later merged with the Ballon d’Or, was dominated by two players in particular. Decided by a panel of sports journalists from UEFA member states, Zinedine Zidane finished as runner-up with 181 points, almost 100 more than Andriy Shevchenko in third place.

Luis Figo, who had left Barcelona for Real Madrid in a transfer which shook the world earlier that year, pipped Zizou to the award by 16 points. Less than a year later, the two would form part of a sumptuous midfield at the Bernabeu.


1. Luis Figo (Barcelona & Real Madrid) – 197
2. Zinedine Zidane (Juventus) – 181
3. Andriy Shevchenko (AC Milan) – 85
4. Thierry Henry (Arsenal) – 57
6= Alessandro Nesta (Lazio) – 39
6= Rivaldo (Barcelona) – 39
7. Gabriel Batistuta (Roma) – 26
8. Gaizka Mendieta (Valencia) – 22
9. Raul (Real Madrid) – 18
11= Paolo Maldini (AC Milan) – 10
11= David Beckham (Man Utd) – 10
13= Zlatko Zahovič (Olympiakos & Valencia) – 8
13= Fabian Barthez (Man Utd) – 8
16= Francesco Toldo (Fiorentina) – 7
16= Francesco Totti (Roma) – 7
16= Roberto Carlos (Real Madrid) – 7
17. Patrick Kluivert (Barcelona) – 6
21= Fernando Redondo (AC Milan) – 5
21= Edgar Davids (Juventus) – 5
21= Hakan Şükür (Inter) – 5
21= Mário Jardel (Galatasaray) – 5
23= Pavel Nedvěd (Lazio) – 4
23= David Trezeguet (Juventus) – 4
26= Marcel Desailly (Chelsea) – 2
26= Oliver Kahn (Bayern Munich) – 2
26= Rui Costa (Fiorentina) – 2
30= Laurent Blanc (Inter) – 1
30= Claudio Lopez (Lazio) – 1
30= Roy Keane (Man Utd) – 1
30= Juan Sebastian Veron (Lazio) – 1


Nineteen of the nominees did not receive any points in the final vote, including six players from the Premier League:

Sonny Anderson (Lyon), Nicolas Anelka (Real Madrid & PSG), Jocelyn Angloma (Valencia), Dennis Bergkamp (Arsenal), Hernán Crespo (Parma & Lazio), Didier Deschamps (Chelsea & Valencia), Marcelo Gallardo (Monaco), Geremi (Real Madrid), Ryan Giggs (Man Utd), Filippo Inzaghi (Juventus), Patrick M’Boma (Cagliari & Parma), Savo Milošević (Real Zaragoza & Parma), Nuno Gomes (Benfica & Fiorentina), Álvaro Recoba (Inter), Paul Scholes (Man Utd), Marco Simone (Monaco), Jaap Stam (Man Utd), Sylvain Wiltord (Bordeaux & Arsenal) and Boudewijn Zenden (Barcelona).

There are a few slightly surprising names among the nominees looking back, but how do they compare to these 11 players we can’t quite believe were nominated for the Ballon d’Or?

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