2007 FIFA World Men's Player
of the Year
AC Milan's Kaka
was named the 2007 FIFA Men's World Player of the Year, finishing with more than twice the votes of runner-up
The 25-year-old Brazilian international beat had 1,047 votes in balloting of national team coaches and players
compared to 504 for Messi and 426 for Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo
, who finished third.
The award came a day after Kaka led AC
Milan to the 2007 Club World Cup title with a 4-2 win over Boca Juniors in Yokohama.
"Tonight is really special for me," said Kaka, who led Milan to its seventh European Cup
title in May. "When I was young, I dreamed of playing for Sao Paulo and playing just one game for the national team. That was it ... but the Bible says God gives us more than we ask for and
that is what has happened in my life."
Kaka, the son of an engineer, was born in the capital of Brasilia but raised in a middle-class neighborhood in Sao Paulo, which he joined as
an adolescent. Within a year of his first-team debut for Sao Paulo, he made his international debut for Brazil. The same year he was part of Brazil's team that won the 2002 World Cup.
Kaka moved to AC Milan in 2003 and has been heavily courted by Real Madrid.
Kaka is a member of the evangelical Reborn in Christ Church. His clean-cut image stands in sharp
contrast to that of some of Brazil's other stars who have a reputation for partying. That image has made Kaka popular among sponsors.
Kaka also won France Football
magazine's prestigious Ballon d'Or by a wide margin in balloting of international journalists released earlier this month.