Kaká collects world crown

AC Milan playmaker Kaká has been voted FIFA World Player of the Year to add to the UEFA Club Footballer of the Year title and Ballon d'Or he claimed this month.

Kaká has been named FIFA World Player of the Year less than 48 hours after leading AC Milan to the FIFA Club World Cup.

Kaká triumph
In a poll of national team coaches and captains, Kaká received 1,047 votes compared with 504 for FC Barcelona forward Lionel Messi, who came second, and 426 for Manchester United FC winger Cristiano Ronaldo in third. Umeå IK's Brazilian international Marta took the women's award for the second successive year.

Leading scorer
The accolade completes a hat-trick of titles for Kaká who was also honoured as the UEFA Club Footballer of the Year in September before collecting the Ballon d'Or at the start of the month. Kaká, 25, was instrumental in helping Milan win the UEFA Champions League last season, finishing as the competition's ten-goal leading scorer as the Rossoneri clinched their seventh European crown. The Brazil playmaker was also at his brilliant best to steer Milan to victory on Sunday, registering their third goal as well as creating two for Filippo Inzaghi as the UEFA Champions League winners beat Argentina's CA Boca Juniors to lift the FIFA Club World Cup in Yokohama.

'New era'
"As a boy I dreamed about winning the UEFA Champions League and other trophies," he said. "I honestly didn't think my dreams would come true so quickly. A great player cannot exist without a great team. I owe a lot to my team-mates who put me in the best position to play well. It was Milan's victory in Tokyo, not Kaká's, and we're all delighted with this win which puts us on top of the world. Messi [20 years old], Ronaldo [22] and myself are all young players. It means football has started a new era." Kaká, capped 59 times by Brazil, succeeds Fabio Cannavaro who became the first defender to claim the award last year.