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Friday 16 May 2003

Chelsea goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini has today scooped the official Barclaycard Golden Gloves Award for the 2002/03 season, as voted for by football fans.

Cudicini has played a key role in Chelsea's drive towards Europe, showing flashes of brilliance during the season - keeping 12 clean sheets and conceding just 35 goals.

Viewers of ITV1's On The Ball voted via phone, text message and online to find the best goalkeeper in the Barclaycard Premiership from a shortlist of Cudicini, Shay Given, Antti Niemi, Brad Friedel, Richard Wright and Russell Hoult. The Italian came top of the countries best shot stoppers, followed by Saints keeper, Niemi and Blackburn's Brad Friedel.

Barclaycard Sponsorship Director, Nic Gault said: "Goalkeepers are often overlooked when awards are handed out, but this accolade is all about acknowledging what a fine job the best shot stoppers do. It has been a great season for keepers with Friedel, Given and Niemi all playing superbly, so Carlo Cudicini has done especially well to pick up this award."

Barclaycard Golden Gloves Winner: Carlo Cudicini

* Cudicini was born September 6th 1973 in Milan, Italy.
* Cudicini signed for Chelsea on 3rd July 2000 on a free transfer and has played over 110 games for the West London club.
* He started his professional career with Milan, before leaving his hometown club to join Prato.
* The Italian spent much of his time in the lower reaches of Italian football, before really making his name at Chelsea.
* After two great seasons in the Barclaycard Premiership, surprisingly, he has yet to claim his first national cap.
* Last year's winner was Bolton Wanderers keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen.

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RYAN GIGGS: CAREER IN PHOTOS - The young Welsh wing wizard broke into the Man United team in 1991, aged just 17 RYAN GIGGS: CAREER IN PHOTOS - He was quickly compared to former United great George Best RYAN GIGGS: CAREER IN PHOTOS - In 1993 he helped United win their first league title for over two decades


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