“They vote for whoever they want”, Thierry Henry makes bold claim he was ‘robbed’ of the 2003 Ballon d’Or

Thierry Henry has finally addressed being snubbed for the Ballon d’Or in 2003.

In 2003, Juventus’ Pavel Nedved won the Ballon d’Or after a scintillating campaign with Juventus in which his side won Serie A and finished as runners-up in the Champions League, losing to Milan on penalties.

The Czech Republic star was the primary creative force for his Juventus side, registering 14 goals and claiming a further 17 assists in that Ballon d’Or cycle. However, a contingent of fans have long argued that Henry should have been the recipient of the annual award, after an exceptional year at Arsenal.

The Frenchman entrenched himself in English football history ahead of the 2003 Ballon d’Or ceremony, scoring 32 goals and creating 28 assists.

And speaking on CBS’ Champions League coverage via SportBible, Micah Richards voiced the opinion of many Arsenal fans by questioning why Henry had not won the Ballon D’Or instead of Nedved, Micah Richards said, “2003. You had 32 goals and 28 assists that season. Nedved, who won it, had 14 goals and 17 assists.”

Henry said: “Look, you can’t debate opinions. When journalists are involved and have a vote, they vote for whoever they want.

“However you want to look at it, they vote for whoever they want. When you look at the vote in the history of [the Ballon d’Or], not only my year, you [often] look at the top three and think ‘Really?’

“You must have looked at some sometimes and thought, ‘Really?’ So it is what it is. You can’t debate opinions.”

Indeed, upon winning the prize two decades earlier, Nedved said via the Guardian:

“I did not even dream of winning such an award. I heard about the nominees and being among them, but I did not believe in my chances too much.

“For me, Thierry Henry is the best forward in the world now. If I had voted, I would have voted for Thierry and the other players on the podium.”

He added: “I did not think I would beat Thierry Henry, Paolo Maldini or Zinedine Zidane. I am very happy for myself, my wife, my children and my country but I don’t know how I beat Thierry Henry or Zinedine Zidane.”

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