Barcelona's Brazilian attacker RONALDINHO has been named FIFA World Player of the Year, which is voted on by national team coaches and captains. U.S. coach Bruce Arena voted for (1) Frenchman Thierry Henry, (2) Czech Pavel Nedved and (3) Ukrainian Andriy Shevchenko. U.S. captain Claudio Reyna voted for (1) Henry, (2) Nedved and (3) Ronaldinho. Five points were awarded for a first-place nomination, three for second and one for third. Ronaldinho gained 89 first-place votes (620 total points), Henry 79 (552) and Shevchenko 34 (253). Since FIFA created the award in 1991, Brazilians have won six times: Romario (1994), Ronaldo (1996, 1997 and 2002), Rivaldo (1999) and Ronaldinho (2004)
Germany'sBIRGIT PRINZ won FIFA Women's Player of the Year for the second straight year. U.S. coach April Heinrichs voted for (1) Brazil's Marta, (2) Prinz and (3) France's Marinette Pichon. U.S. captain Julie Foudy voted for (1) Marta, (2) Prinz and Germany's Kerstin Stegmann. (Coaches and players may not vote for compatriots). Prinz totaled 376 votes. The USA's Mia Hamm finished second with 286 votes and Marta third with 281.
American winger EDDIE LEWIS scored on a 25-yard shot for Preston North End's first goal in a 2-1 win over West Ham. It was Lewis' third goal in 23 English Championship League appearances this season.
CARLOS TEVEZ scored in his final game for Argentina's BOCA JUNIORS as it downed Bolivar, 2-0, in the second leg of the Copa Sudamericana for a 2-1 aggregate win. Martin Palermo scored the other Boca goal in the second leg. Tevez is leaving for Brazil's Corinthians in an $18 million transfer.
SPORTING CRISTAL clinched the Peruvian Torneo Clausura after a 4-2 win over Universitario gave it an insurmountable lead with two games left, and guaranteed Sporting Cristal a spot in next year's Libertadores Cup. American LUCHI GONZALEZ has made 14 appearances and scored twice for Sporting Cristal in the Torneo Clausura.
SANTOS clinched the Brazilian league title, its second in three years, with a 2-1 victory over Vasco da Gama that marked the comeback of forward Robinho, who did not play during the 40 days in which his mother was held hostage by kidnappers. She was freed on Friday. The Santos title marked coach VANDERLEI LUXEMBURGOfifth. He guided Cruzeiro to the championship last year and won with Palmeiras in 1993 and 1994 and Corinthians in 1998.
ATLETICO JUNIOR beat Atletico Nacional 5-4 on penalties in the Colombian Clausura final after their the two-leg final ended 5-5 on aggregate. Nacional, which lost the first-leg 3-0, was leading 5-1 in the second leg before Walter Ribonetto's goal evened the scoreline.
COBRELOA won the Chilean Clausura title after a 0-0 tie in the second leg of the final against Union Espanola gave it 3-1 aggregate win. Cobreloa has won three of the last four Chilean titles.
For the second time, FIFA has had to backtrack on a proposal to move the Women's World Cup to the same year as the Men's World Cup. The FIFA executive committee voted on Dec. 19 to keep the current Women's World Cup cycle (2007, 2011, 2015, etc.). The executive committee also approved making the Under-19 Women's World Championship a U-20 event. It also will look into adding a U-18 women's world championship and turning the existing U-17 World Cup for boys into a U-18 championship.
GERMANY's unbeaten record under Coach Juergen Klinsmann came to an abrupt halt on Sunday when it fell to South Korea, 3-1, in Busan in a re-run of their 2002 World Cup semifinal. Kim Dong Jin, Lee Dong Gook and Cho Jae Jin scored to give South Korea revenge for the 1-0 loss to Germany. Before Sunday, Germany had won four games and drawn one under Klinsmann since he took over in July. The win was a big lift for Dutch coach Jo Bonfrere, who is rebuilding South Korea for the final phase of 2006 World Cup qualifying in Asia.
PSV EINDHOVEN's 23-game Dutch League unbeaten streak came to an end on with a 2-0 loss, its first this season, to Roda in as PSV played a man down for 47 minutes. American DaMARCUS BEASLEY started and played the full 90 minutes for PSV, which fell into second place, trailing leader AZ on goals scored.