Curious choices by world bosses
By Adam Marshall
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Zinedine Zidane pipped Thierry Henry and Ronaldo to land the prize, but careful scrutiny of the individual votes does reveal some interesting selections.
For instance, Bahamas boss Gary White felt Brad Friedel, outstanding for Blackburn Rovers last season, was worthy of the accolade of third best player in the world for 2003.
The United States keeper will be pleased to be held in such high esteem and honoured to be in the same company as Thierry Henry and Raul, the only two stars White felt deserved to be above the Rovers favourite in the voting.
Another keeper, Bayern Munich's Oliver Kahn was number one in the world in Alexandre Alhinho's eyes as the Cape Verde Islands coach nominated the German as his top choice.
Canada chief Colin Miller nominated Manchester United's Paul Scholes for third place, as did Mali's Keita Mamaidou, but the England international was a long way down the final poll.
Ghana boss Ralf Zumdick felt Bochum midfielder Paul Freier was the second-best player on the planet this year, and Real Madrid reject Fernando Morientes, now with Monaco, was the main man for India's Stephen Constantine.
Some of the more obscure selections including Brazilian Alexandro de Souza in third spot, by Cayman Islands' Marcos Aurelio Tinoco, and Takamatsu Daiki who was number three for Chinese Taipei coach Lee Po Houng, just below Monaco's Dado Prso.
Esala Masi managed a place on the podium for Solomon Islands manager Matai Vave. Masi is Fiji's number one striker to the uninformed.
Out of interest, England's Sven Goran Eriksson voted for Real Madrid's Brazilian defender Roberto Carlos as his selection for the award, with Ruud van Nistelrooy second and Michael Ballack third.