Milan’s Brazilian playmaker has been voted World Soccer magazine’s Player of the Year for 2007.
The Brazilian, who has already won the European Footballler of the Year award and is tipped to become FIFA’s Player of the Year, polled more than 50% of the vote to finish well clear of Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo.
Readers in 48 countries contributed to the poll WITH Kaka gaining 52.8 per cent of the votes, making him only the second player in the 26-year history of the award to receive more than half those cast. The only other player to do so was France’s Michel Platini in 1984.
World Soccer editor Gavin Hamilton said: “There won’t be many pany people who begrudge Kaka the multiple accolades that have been bestowed upon him in the past few weeks. His performances for Milan in last season’s triumphant Champions League campaign placed him at the very pinnacle of the world game.
“Last season, when Manchester United’s Premier League revival gained momentum, Cristiano Ronaldo was touted by the English media as the planet’s best player. Yet, when it mattered most, during the Champions League semi-final between United and Milan, it was Kaka who seized the opportunity to demonstrate his brilliance.”
Sir Alex Ferguson won the manager award for a record third time after steering Manchester United to the English championship title for the first time in four years. Ferguson just pipped the now Tottenham manager Juande Ramos, who completed a five-trophy haul in 15 months with Sevilla when leading them to a second successive UEFA Cup triumph, the Spanish Cup and the Spanish Super Cup. Milan’s Carlo Ancelotti was third.
Iraq’s extraordinary journey from war-torn also-rans to continental champions with victory at the Asian Cup earned them the team award, the first time it has gone to an Asian side. Milan were second and Sevilla third.
Messi picked up the young player award for the second year running, with Arsenal and Spain midfielder Cesc Fabregas the runner-up and Cristiano Ronaldo third.
All the results from this year’s poll can be found here