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Last Updated: Friday, 29 August, 2003, 06:47 GMT 07:47 UK
Van Nistelrooy wins award
Ruud van Nistelrooy is Europe's best striker
Van Nistelrooy is Europe's top striker
Ruud van Nistelrooy was named the best striker in Europe at Uefa's 2003 Football Awards in Monte Carlo on Thursday.

The Manchester United striker was honoured at Uefa's awards ceremony after he finished top scorer in last season's Champions League with 12 goals.

But he played down his achievement by paying tribute to the rest of the Old Trafford squad.

"Without the team, I would never have done it," said van Nistelrooy.

"I play for a great team and I'm so proud to be one of those players, it's fantastic."

Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon was named Europe's most valuable player of last season following his fine performances in the Champions League.

The 25-year-old, who became the world's most expensive keeper when he moved from Parma to Juve in 2001, was also named the best goalkeeper in the competition.

Buffon won that award even though he could not prevent AC Milan winning the Champions League final on penalties at Old Trafford in May.

Pavel Nedved, also from Juventus, picked up the award for the best midfielder.

Real Madrid full-back Roberto Carlos was named best defender of last season.

AC Milan skipper Paolo Maldini was given the Uefa president's award in recognition of his 17-year career and for captaining the winning side last season - the first time the award has gone to a current player.

The Fair Play Award was handed to supporters of Celtic for the part they played in Europe last season and especially for the atmosphere they helped create on a memorable night in Seville at the Uefa Cup final against Porto in May.

Celtic fans 'Europe's best'
28 Aug 03  |  Celtic

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