Ronaldo has been crowned FIFA's World Player of the Year at a gala evening in Madrid. The Brazilian striker picked up the award for the third time in his career, beating off competition from Germany goalkeeper Oliver Kahn and France's Zinedine Zidane.
The award completed a hat-trick of accolades on the night for the Real Madrid CF star, who also received the Golden Shoe as top scorer at the 2002 FIFA World Cup finals and the Silver Ball as that tournament's second-best player.
World Cup heroics
Ronaldo added the world player prize - which he had previously won in 1996 and 1997 - to the Golden Ball, or Ballon d'Or, handed to the 26-year-old by France Football magazine yesterday. The FIFA award was recognition of the former Internazionale FC, FC Barcelona and PSV Eindhoven man's eight goals for Brazil in Korea/Japan.
The player on the receiving end of Ronaldo's brilliance in the World Cup final, Kahn, was also honoured by the panel of 148 national coaches. The FC Bayern München man was voted the competition's most valuable player and also claimed the Lev Yashin award as its best goalkeeper.
Kahn's international team-mate, the 1. FC Kaiserslautern forward Miroslav Klose, shared the Silver Shoe as joint second-top scorer in the Far East with Rivaldo of AC Milan. They struck five goals apiece. Meanwhile, the Belgian national team won the Fair Play Award.
Meanwhile, United States legend Mia Hamm repeated last year's success as she pipped the 1. FFC Frankfurt and Germany striker Birgit Prinz, and China's Sun Wen, to the women's prize.
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