Kaka, Marta are FIFA's players of the year

Dec. 17, 2007 at 4:32 PM
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ZURICH, Switzerland, Dec. 17 (UPI) -- Brazil's Kaka and Marta were selected the FIFA World Player and FIFA Women's Worlds Player for 2007, the international soccer organization announced Monday.

It was the second consecutive women's award for Marta but the first such honor for Kaka. The men's award was determined by a vote of coaches and captains of 165 national teams while representatives of 137 teams voted on the women's category.

Kaka helped AC Milan to the UEFA Championship League title, scoring 10 goals over the tournament. He finished well ahead of Argentina's Lionel Messi, who wound up second, and third-place Cristiano Ronaldo, who was third.

Marta had seven goals in helping Brazil reach its first Womens' World Cup final. She was also voted that tournament's top player. Marta came in first in the player of the year voting over German Birgit Prinz -- who won the honor 2003-05 -- while Marta's Brazilian teammate Cristiane was third.

Pele, another player from Brazil, was given the FIFA Presidential Award for his "outstanding services to the game."

Taking the FIFA Fair Play Award was Spanish La Liga team Barcelona, which, rather than going with sponsorship agreements, has worn the UNICEF logo and will be giving some $10.8 million to UNICEF over five years.

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