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Monday, 17 December, 2001, 16:08 GMT
Figo best in world
David Beckham, Luis Figo and Raul collects his award in Zurich
International class: Figo flanked by Beckham and Raul
Real Madrid's Luis Figo has been named Fifa 2001 World Player of the Year.

Figo, the 2000 European Footballer of the Year, fended off competition from Manchester United's David Beckham and Real team-mate Raul to win the award.

But any English disappointment at Beckham's second place was tempered when it was announced that his international team-mate Michael Owen had won another prestigious award.

  Fifa award winners
Player of the Year: Luis Figo
Women's Player of the Year: Mia Hamm
Fair Play award: Paolo Di Canio
World Team of the Year: Honduras
Movers of the Year: Costa Rica
The Liverpool striker was named European Footballer of the Year.

Portuguese midfielder Figo has enjoyed an outstanding year for both club and country.

He scored three goals in Real's first four games in the Champions League and helped Portugal remain unbeaten as they qualified for the 2002 World Cup.

Figo said: "This is a highly prestigious award.

"It was an honour to be nominated along with two great players like David Beckham and Raul,


He has the touch of an artist
Fifa boss Sepp Blatter on Figo
"I am lucky to win today.

"And I would like to thank my team-mates for helping me achieve this."

Fifa president Sepp Blatter paid tribute to Figo.

"He creates goals and scores them, he has the touch of an artist and those skills make him the complete footballer of our time," said Blatter.

The award is based on the votes of 130 national coaches.

Old Trafford pledge

Beckham actually received more first place votes - 30 to Figo's 27 - but the Portuguese star prevailed because he had more second-place votes, 35 to Beckham's 23.

Beckham used the opportunity to stress his commitment to Manchester United, following press speculation of a rift with manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

The midfielder said he wanted to stay with the Premiership champions, despite on-going contract negotiations.

"I don't think they'll be sorted out by Christmas, as was intended," Beckham told reporters.

"The fans know that my heart is there, they see me play day in day out. I don't think it's the fans that need convincing."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Sport's Kevin Howells
"Figo's talents have earned many admirers"
Luis Figo, Fifa 2001 World Player of the Year
"It is an honour to get"
David Beckham
"I'm very honoured"

Europe's Top Player

Fifa's Player of Year

WATCH PHOTOFILES

SPORTS TALK
 VOTE RESULTS
Who is the best player?

Michael Owen
 41.82% 

Luis Figo
 34.52% 

David Beckham
 23.66% 

10878 Votes Cast

Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion

Portugal and Real Madrid's Luis Figo will be hoping to repeat as Fifa World Player of the Year
Fabulous Figo


David Beckham is one of three nominees for Fifa World Player of the Year
Beckham's year


Spain's Raul remarkable year with Real Madrid could end with him crowned as Fifa World Player of the Year
Remarkable Raul

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