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Ronaldinho reigns in Monaco

Ronaldinho has been named UEFA Club Footballer of the Year while three of his FC Barcelona team-mates were also honoured at the gala awards in Monaco.

Spanish-based players dominated the UEFA Club Football Awards in Monaco this evening. On the eve of the UEFA Super Cup, the traditional European season curtain-raiser, and as part of the draw for the UEFA Champions League group stage, FC Barcelona's inspirational forward Ronaldinho collected the UEFA Club Footballer of the Year prize, while his team-mates Carles Puyol, Deco and Samuel Eto'o swept the board in the UEFA Champions League's outfield awards.

Ronaldinho brilliance
Ronaldinho was an eye-catching presence as the Catalan club lifted the trophy at the Stade de France in Paris, missing just one of his side's 13 matches and scoring seven goals en route to the final. The playmaker, who succeeds Liverpool FC's Steven Gerrard as UEFA Club Footballer of the Year - formerly the Most Valuable Player - and becomes the second Brazilian to take the accolade after Ronaldo in 1998, contributed crucial strikes against Chelsea FC and SL Benfica in the knockout stage.

Puyol honoured
Ronaldinho became the first Barça player to be honoured at the event last year when he was named Best Forward, but this time the Spanish team monopolised proceedings. Puyol was recognised as the UEFA Club Defender of the Year, crowning an exceptional 12 months. Not only was he just the second Blaugrana captain to pick up the European Champion Clubs' Cup, he also skippered the side to the Primera División title for the second season running and represented Spain with distinction at the FIFA World Cup in Germany.

Deco first
Deco was acclaimed as Best Midfielder, having got his hands on the European Cup for the second time in three years last term. The Portuguese international was part of the FC Porto team that triumphed in 2004, when he also won the Best Midfielder gong, meaning he becomes the first player to be recognised in the same category with two different clubs. Samuel Eto'o, meanwhile, scored the Spanish champions' equaliser against Arsenal FC in Paris, one of six strikes he contributed to Barcelona's UEFA Champions League victory. His efforts were recognised with the Forward of the Year trophy.

Lehmann consolation
The final UEFA Champions League award, for Best Goalkeeper, went to Jens Lehmann of Arsenal. The German international might have been sent off early in the final loss to Barça, but he had previously kept eight consecutive clean sheets and saved Juan Riquelme's last-gasp penalty in the semi-final second leg against Villarreal CF to take the Londoners into the final for the first time.

Voting changes
New voting procedures were introduced this year with the head coaches of the 16 sides that reached the 2005/06 UEFA Champions League knockout rounds all having a say in the awards presented. New trophies were also handed out. The fresh design is based around a blossoming flower which represents the five-pointed star that has become a symbol of Europe's premier club competition.

UEFA Club Football Awards - winners
Best Goalkeeper
YearPlayerClub
2006Jens LehmannArsenal FC
2005Petr Čech Chelsea FC
2004Vítor BaíaFC Porto
2003Gianluigi BuffonJuventus
2002Oliver KahnFC Bayern München
2001Oliver KahnFC Bayern München
2000Oliver KahnFC Bayern München
1999Oliver KahnFC Bayern München
1998Peter SchmeichelManchester United FC

Best Defender
YearPlayerClub
2006Carles PuyolFC Barcelona
2005John TerryChelsea FC
2004Ricardo CarvalhoFC Porto
2003Roberto CarlosReal Madrid CF
2002Roberto CarlosReal Madrid CF
2001Roberto AyalaValencia CF
2000Jaap Stam Manchester United FC
1999Jaap Stam Manchester United FC
1998Fernando HierroReal Madrid CF

Best Midfielder
YearPlayerClub
2006DecoFC Barcelona
2005KakáAC Milan
2004Deco FC Porto
2003Pavel NedvědJuventus
2002Michael BallackFC Bayern München
2001Gaizka MendietaValencia CF
2000Gaizka MendietaValencia CF
1999David BeckhamManchester United FC
1998Zinédine ZidaneJuventus

Best Forward
YearPlayerClub
2006Samuel Eto'oFC Barcelona
2005RonaldinhoFC Barcelona
2004Fernando MorientesAS Monaco FC
2003Ruud van Nistelrooij Manchester United FC
2002Raúl GonzálezReal Madrid CF
2001Raúl GonzálezReal Madrid CF
2000Raúl GonzálezReal Madrid CF
1999Andriy Shevchenko FC Dynamo Kyiv
1998Ronaldo FC Internazionale Milano

UEFA Club Footballer of the Year
YearPlayerClub
2006RonaldinhoFC Barcelona
2005Steven GerrardLiverpool FC
2004DecoFC Porto
2003Gianluigi BuffonJuventus FC
2002Zinedine ZidaneReal Madrid CF
2001Stefan EffenbergFC Bayern München
2000Fernando RedondoReal Madrid CF
1999David BeckhamManchester United FC
1998Ronaldo FC Internazionale Milano