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French press prize Serie A stars Saturday 27 December, 2003

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After Pavel Nedved scooped the prestigious Balon d¡¦Or, French newspaper l¡¦Equipe has also praised the Italian League.

There are five Serie A stars in the annual Top Eleven team picked by the pundits of this esteemed publication.

Newly crowned European Player of the Year Nedved is part of the midfield, while Juventus teammate Lilian Thuram is also included in an almost entirely Italian-based defence.

In fact, three Azzurri heroes help make up the Team of the 2003 with Gianluigi Buffon and Champions¡¦ League winners Paolo Maldini and Alessandro Nesta.

L¡¦Equipe¡¦s writers note that Juventus goalkeeper Buffon ¡§has all the indispensable qualities for a Number 1.¡¨

Nesta represents ¡§the archetypal Italian defender,¡¨ while his Rossoneri teammate Maldini ¡§remains the best example for a football player.¡¨

L¡¦Equipe¡¦s Team of 2003: Buffon; Thuram, Nesta, Maldini, Roberto Carlos; Makelele, Beckham, Zidane, Nedved; Ronaldo, Henry

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