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Golden Players take centre stage

Published: Saturday 29 November 2003, 13.10CET
Each national association has chosen its most outstanding player from the past 50 years.
Published: Saturday 29 November 2003, 13.10CET

Golden Players take centre stage

Each national association has chosen its most outstanding player from the past 50 years.

Dino Zoff, Alfredo Di Stéfano, Ferenc Puskás; Panajot Pano, Sergey Kvochkin, Massimo Bonini - some of the biggest names of the past 50 years rub shoulders with those lesser known on the European stage but revered in their own country in UEFA's final list of "Golden Players".

Jubilee celebrations
To help mark UEFA's Golden Jubilee year in 2004, each national association was asked by the European governing body UEFA to nominate one of its own players as the single most outstanding player of the past 50 years.

Fascinating mixture
What has emerged is a fascinating mixture of household names and surprises that reflect the variety and unpredictable nature of the European game.

Special display
The 52 Golden Players, listed below, will find permanent recognition at the House of European Football in Nyon. A specially created display within UEFA's headquarters will feature all 52 stars, thus ensuring a permanent presence for each country's top player.

One per country
"Alfredo Di Stéfano, Dino Zoff, Johan Cruyff, Michael Laudrup ... this list of Golden Players includes some of the really great players of all time, even if there's only one from each country," said Andy Roxburgh, the former Scotland coach, now UEFA's technical director.

Outstanding talent
"It's terrific that the outstanding players of some of the smaller European countries can take their place alongside the more familiar names in a special display at UEFA's headquarters," Roxburgh added.

Law honoured
"Incidentally, I'm delighted to see that Scotland have chosen Denis Law, my personal favourite, and an unforgettable player who typified the best of Scottish football - dynamic and adventurous."

Fans' choice
Meanwhile, football fans worldwide are being invited to make their voice heard through the 50-50 vote to identify the fans' choice of the 50 best European players of the past 50 years, regardless of nationality. Fans have until the 11 December to make their choice on uefa.com from pre-selected lists covering the five decades since UEFA was founded in 1954.

The UEFA Jubilee
52 Golden Players
ALB - Panajot Pano ITA - Dino Zoff
AND - Koldo KZK - Sergey Kvochkin
ARM - Khoren Hovhannisyan LAT - Aleksandrs Starkovs
AUT - Herbert Prohaska LIE - Rainer Hasler
AZE - Anatoli Banishevski LIT - Arminas Narbekovas
BEL - Paul Van Himst LUX - Louis Pilot
BHZ - Safet Susic MKD - Darko Pancev
BLS - Sergei Aleinikov MLT - Carmel Busuttil
BUL - Hristo Stoitchkov MOL - Pavel Cebanu
CRO - Davor Šuker NED - Johan Cruyff
CYP - Sotiris Kaiafas NIR - Pat Jennings
CZE - Josef Masopust NOR - Rune Bratseth
DEN - Michael Laudrup POL - Wlodzimierz Lubanski
ENG - Bobby Moore POR - Eusébio
ESP - Alfredo Di Stéfano ROM - Gheorghe Hagi
EST - Mart Poom RUS - Lev Yashin
FAR - Abraham Lokin (Abraham Hansen) SCG - Dragan Dzajic
FIN - Jari Litmanen SCO - Denis Law
FRA - Just Fontaine SLO - Brane Oblak
GEO - Murtaz Khurtsilava SMR - Massimo Bonini
GER - Fritz Walter SUI - Stéphane Chapuisat
GRE - Vassilis Hatzipanagis SVK - Ján Popluhár
HUN - Ferenc Puskás SWE - Henrik Larsson
IRE - Johnny Giles TUR - Hakan Sükür
ISL - Asgeir Sigurvinsson UKR - Oleh Blokhin
ISR - Mordechai Shpigler WAL - John Charles

Last updated: 04/02/04 16.10CET

http://www.uefa.com/news/newsid=130150.html#golden+players+take+centre+stage

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