Wed, Sep 21, 2005 - Page 20 News List

Ronaldinho named player of the year


Ronaldinho poses with his trophies after being voted player of the year by FIFPro, the international professional football players' union, in London on Monday.


FC Barcelona's Ronaldinho was voted world player of the year by his fellow pros on Monday while five AC Milan stars made it to their world team award.

FIFPro, the international players organization, announced the awards at a banquet at the BBC, and Brazilian star Ronaldinho received his from England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson.

Ronaldinho was also named FIFA player of 2004.

The FIFPro members announced their World XI lineup:

Goalkeeper: Dida (AC Milan and Brazil).

Defenders: John Terry (Chelsea and England), Alessandro Nesta (AC Milan and Italy), Paolo Maldini (AC Milan and Italy), Cafu (AC Milan and Brazil).

Midfielders: Frank Lampard (Chelsea and England), Zinedine Zidane (Real Madrid and France), Ronaldinho (FC Barcelona and Brazil), Claude Makelele (Chelsea and France).

Strikers: Andriy Shevchenko (AC Milan and Ukraine), Samuel Eto'o (FC Barcelona and Cameroon).

"It's an incredible team," Eriksson said. "Anyone in my position would like to manage this 11. Will they ever play together? I don't know."

Lampard said: "It's a great recognition when you get voted by players on a scale who have voted across the world, and I'm very proud to be in a team with so many great players. When you ask players they say it's the award they really crave when you get that recognition from the players you play against. When you get the respect from them it makes you feel very proud."

FIFPro also invited fans around the world to vote for a best young player of the year, and they came up with Manchester United's Portuguese winger Cristiano Ronaldo while his Reds teammate, Wayne Rooney, collected FIFPro's own young player award.

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