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Last Updated: Monday, 17 December 2007, 22:01 GMT
Kaka wins Fifa world player crown
Kaka collects his prestigious award
Kaka inspired AC Milan to the Champions League this year
AC Milan and Brazil star Kaka has been named Fifa's world player of the year, beating Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi to the honour in Zurich.

Kaka's latest award crowns a superb year in which he led AC Milan to Champions League victory, scoring 10 goals in the process.

In a poll of all national coaches and captains, Kaka polled 1,047 votes, Messi 504 and Ronaldo 426.

The 25-year-old was also named European player of the year earlier this month.

Kaka, a devout Christian, said he had never expected to reach such heights in the sport.

"It's really special for me - it was a dream for me just to play for Sao Paulo and one game for Brazil," he said.

1991: Lothar Matthaeus (Ger)
1992: Marco Van Basten (Hol)
1993: Roberto Baggio (Ita)
1994: Romario (Bra)
1995: George Weah (Lib)
1996: Ronaldo (Bra)
1997: Ronaldo (Bra)
1998: Zinedine Zidane (Fra)
1999: Rivaldo (Bra)
2000: Zinedine Zidane (Fra)
2001: Luis Figo (Por)
2002: Ronaldo (Bra)
2003: Zinedine Zidane (Fra)
2004: Ronaldinho (Bra)
2005: Ronaldinho (Bra)
2006: Fabio Cannavaro (Ita)

"But the Bible says God can give you more than you even ask for and that is what has happened in my life.

"I had always thought about winning this award, but there are always doubts until it is actually confirmed.

"It is not just this award but the whole year that has been very nice. Winning the Champions League and everything that has happened, it's just been wonderful."

Chelsea and Ivory Coast striker Didier Drogba was fourth in the voting with 209, while 2004 and 2005 winner Ronaldinho came fifth.

Kaka, who has won 42 caps for Brazil, scored one goal and set up two others at the Club World Cup final in Japan on Sunday to hand AC Milan a record fourth title.

He follows in some illustrious footsteps, with Marco van Basten, Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldinho and George Weah among previous winners of the award.

Meanwhile, the legendary Pele - one of Kaka's predecessors in Brazil's famous yellow shirts - was given the Fifa presidential award for his lifetime contribution to football.

"My father told me it was a gift from God to play football," said a tearful Pele.


The three-time World Cup-winner went on to praise Kaka as a worthy winner of the award.

"Ronaldo and Messi have played some great football this year but they are not yet the most prominent players in their national teams," he said.

"Kaka has been playing at this level for Brazil for four years now, he helps out in midfield and he is also a great example off the pitch. He's the complete player."

In the women's player of the year award, Brazil's Marta won for the second year running, beating Germany's World Cup-winning captain Birgit Prinz and her fellow Brazilian Cristiane.

"I'm very happy to be here once more, and you can be sure I am going to give my best to be here on other occasions," she said.

Barcelona's gesture of displaying the name of children's fund Unicef on their shirts was recognised with the Fair Play Award.

AC Milan 4-2 Boca Juniors
16 Dec 07 |  Football
Kaka named Europe's best player
02 Dec 07 |  Football
Kaka wins world players' accolade
05 Oct 07 |  Football


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