(Reuters) - Zurich Kaka of AC Milan was crowned FIFA World Player 2007 on Monday, adding to his impressive collection of medals and honours. The 24-year-old Brazilian scored 43 goals in 56 appearances for his country and his club team before moving to Europe in 2003. He has won two Olympic gold medals with Brazil and is the only man to have done so.
Kaka's achievements do not come as a surprise to many people who know about his record-breaking goalscoring form over the past year. From January through June this year, he had scored 39 times in all competitions, including three goals in three matches for his club.
He is the first player to score at least 40 goals in a single season since Ruud van Nistelrooy (45 in 2005-06), and only Zico (57 in 1958-59) and Gerd Mueller (52 in 1974-75) have managed more than one 50-goal season in the history of the game.
Kaka's consistency has also helped him break several records this year. He has now scored in consecutive matches for five different clubs - Parma, Chelsea, Milan, Madrid and Juventus - having previously done so four times each with Parma and Chelsea.
Kaka Kaka, a Brazilian midfielder, was named FIFA World Player of the Year in 2007, while Marta, another Brazilian, received the women's title. The winners were revealed on December 17, 2007, at the FIFA World Player Gala at the Zurich Opera House. Kaka is only the second player from Brazil to win the award after Pelé.
World Footballer of the Year is given out each year by football magazine FIFA to the best player in the world. The winner is chosen by their peers through voting on FIFA.com. In addition to being awarded with the trophy, the player also receives $300,000 (€225,000) as prize money. The other nominees this year were Cristiano Ronaldo and Luís Fabiano.
Kaka was born in Itajaí, Brazil, on March 18, 1980. He started his career off well, playing for Italian club Milan during the 1997-98 season before moving back to Brazil where he played for Flamengo for four years. In 2003, Kaka moved back to Italy and signed with AC Milan. He has since then played for Spanish club Real Madrid and Portuguese club Chelsea. Kaka has won several titles including two Serie A titles, one Coppa Italia, one Champions League, one Supercoppa Italiana, and one Club World Cup with Real Madrid.
Ronaldo, Cristiano Manchester United's youngster On Monday in Zurich, Cristiano Ronaldo was crowned FIFA World Player of the Year for 2008. The 24-year-old Portuguese star won the award over Lionel Messi and Kaka.
Ronaldo became the first player to win the award three years in a row. He also broke Maradona's record of most goals scored by a player in a single season (96).
In addition to being named World Player of the Year, Ronaldo was also awarded the Golden Ball as the best player in the world. United teammate Wayne Rooney came in second while Barcelona's Messi finished third.
Ronaldo led Portugal to its first ever European Championship title last year before helping his club win the English Premier League title this past season. The Madrid superstar is considered one of the greatest footballers in history.
His achievements have also earned him many other awards including the Ballon d'Or, UEFA Champions League Award, FIFPro World Player of the Year, IFFHS World's Top Goalkeeper, Euroleague Final Four MVP and La Liga Best Defender.
Ronaldo has also been involved in several controversies during his career including allegations of sexual abuse made against him by British newspaper The Sunday Mirror in 2009.
Cristiano Ronaldo is a Portuguese forward footballer. Ronaldo is presently the captain of the Portugal National Football Team and plays for Juventus. Ronaldo is without a doubt a living legend and the greatest Portuguese player of all time due to his extraordinary exploits and performances. He has won almost every award there is to win in football and is considered one of the best players in the world. His achievements have earned him several titles, including the UEFA Champions League, FIFA World Player of the Year, Ballon d'Or, and La Plaque des Révolutions.
Ronaldo was born on 5 April 1985 in Leiria, Portugal. He is a member of the Portuguese national team and has represented his country at various levels from under-15 to under-21. In addition to playing football, he also holds Italian citizenship.
His father, José Dias Cristão, was a water polo player who died when Cristiano was only nine years old. His mother, Maria del Carmen Bosch Ferrer, worked as a cleaning lady. He has two siblings: Joana and Irene. When he was five years old, his family moved to Funchal, where his father took a job coaching football. During these years, he began to show an interest in football and would spend hours practicing alone in the garden. He also started playing organized football at the age of six.