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Brazilian striker Ailton been voted German player of the year – the first foreigner twin the award.

The 31-year-old striker, who was the German first division’s top scorer with 28 goals, won a vote by sports journalists for the soccer magazine Kicker.

Ailton, who has since joined Werder rivals Schalke 04, won 216 of the 712 votes cast.

Stuttgart left back Philipp Lahm, who performed with distinction for Germany in Euro 2004, second with 172, while last year’s winner Michael Ballack was third with 63.

Werder Bremen’s Thomas Schaat was named coach of the year, ahead of Peter Neururer, who guided Bochum to fifth place in the Bundesliga, and third-place Otto Rehhagel, the man at the helm for Greece’s Euro 2004 success.

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