A Ukrainian footballer, playing in Italy, has been awarded the European Footballer of the Year honour from a French magazine. The prestigious award, the 'Ballon d'Or' (Golden Football), was given to Andriy Shevchenko of AC Milan.
The award was established in 1956 by the French soccer magazine France Football and has come to establish itself as the premier European Footballer of the Year award. Winners are chosen by a vote of European soccer journalists, one from each of the member nations of UEFA, the ruling body for football in Europe. Each journalist nominates five players, in order of preference, with five points going to their first-placed choice and so on down to one point for their fifth-placed choice. For a national magazine to establish its award as the default European Player of the Year honour ... France Football we salute you!
Meanwhile in a junior version of the France Football award, the Italian newspaper Tuttosport offers a 'Golden Boy' award for the best young footballer in Europe. Taking its lead from the France Football award, the Tuttosport award is also selected via a poll of journalists. The winner for 2004 was English 'wonder boy' Wayne Rooney.