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50-50: Liverpool vs. Real Madrid

Champions League 1 day ago
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By ESPN Staff
Nov 28, 2006

Wenger: Henry deserved award, not Cannavaro

Arsene Wenger has insisted it was a 'mistake' not to name Arsenal captain Thierry Henry as European Player of the Year - and that the World Cup was 'lowest level' of football.

Italy captain Fabio Cannavaro took the prestigious Ballon D'Or - awarded by France Football magazine - ahead of countryman and Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, both of whom tasted success in Germany this summer.

France striker Henry, 29, meanwhile, was third - despite having helped Arsenal reach their first European Cup final and also reaching the World Cup final for a second time with Les Blues.

For Wenger, the decision was unjust.

'It is a mistake,' declared the Arsenal manager.

'It shows that the people who vote look only at the World Cup, which when you speak about elite football, in my opinion, is the lowest level in football that you can see at the moment.

'They make their decision on that.'

Wenger continued: 'If you see Italy playing against Togo or South Korea you cannot say that Cannavaro has a good game or even Thierry Henry has a good game, that he is the best player in the world - look at the players he plays against.

'To be consistent in a big championship like in England or in the Champions League for me would be much more appropriate than three weeks in the World Cup.'