Milan midfielder Gennaro Gattuso has criticised the decision to award this year’s FIFA World Player of the Year to Real Madrid’s Zinedine Zidane, claimimg there were more credible candidates in Italy who were overlooked.
Frenchman Zidane claimed the award – voted for by 142 national coaches – despite his club’s indifferent 2002-03 season.
“With all (due) respect to Zidane, who is without doubt one of the best players in the world, if I look at his season I think to myself: ‘So what?’,” Gattuso told Gazzetta dello Sport on Thursday.
“If the prize is going to be handed out solely on the basis of talent, then Diego Maradona should have won it every single year he was playing.”
The Italian international claimed that Juventus playmaker Pavel Nedved and Milan defender Paolo Maldini would have been woorthieer winnersthan Zidane.
Gattuso was also perplexed by the decision of the coach of Caribbean islands Turks and Caicos to vote for him.
“What do these coaches base their judgements on?” he asked.
“I went there once on holiday with Christian Vieri. Maybe this guy saw me having a kick around on the beach and liked what he saw.
“But does it seem possible to you that I got one vote and (Roma striker Francesco) Totti didn’t get any?
“These prizes don’t have credibility anymore. They have more to do with sponsors than real values and results on the pitch”.