Ronaldinho FIFA Player of the Year

Ronaldinho won his second straight FIFA World Player of the Year award, beating England's Frank Lampard and Cameroon's Samuel Eto'o.

updated: February 25, 2007 10:50 IST
  • Total Shares


Ronaldinho won his second straight FIFA World Player of the Year award, beating England's Frank Lampard and Cameroon's Samuel Eto'o. Germany's Birgit Prinz also was a repeat winner, taking the women's award for the third straight year. Ronaldinho won the poll of national team coaches and captains with 956 points, easily outdistancing Lampard, who had 306 points. Eto'o, who plays alongside Ronaldinho at FC Barcelona, came in third with 190 points. "It's a huge joy to be able to keep up this high level of performance the last years and I hope to be able to come back here over and over again," Ronaldinho said yesterday. The 25-year-old Brazilian has been in sparkling form for both his club and country over the last 24 months. Spanish league title In May, Ronaldinho led Barcelona to its first Spanish league title in six years, and his 10 goals this season have helped the Catalan team back to the top of the standings. He has scored 34 league goals in 82 matches since his arrival from Paris Saint-Germain in 2003, and another 13 in 19 matches against European competition. But Ronaldinho's impact over the last two years has meant more than goals. Combining with Eto'o and a host of other newcomers under Dutch coach Frank Rijkaard, Ronaldinho has led Barcelona's resurgence from an aging and ailing team into one of Europe's best. After scoring twice in last month's 3-0 win over Real Madrid, Ronaldinho was greeted with a standing ovation from even Madrid's fans. The last Barcelona player to receive such a reception at Madrid's Santiago Bernabeu stadium was Diego Maradona in the early 1980s. Ronaldinho also spearheaded Brazil's win in the Confederations Cup, beating rivals Argentina in the final. Lampard finishes second The 27-year-old Lampard also finished second to Ronaldinho last month for the European Player of the Year award. The attacking midfielder has been a consistent player for Chelsea, playing in every match of last year's Premier League winning campaign - the Blues' first in 50 years. This season, Lampard has scored 11 goals in helping the London team to an already commanding nine-point lead in the league over second-place Manchester United. Eto'o is the reigning African Player of the Year, and the 24-year-old leads the Spanish league with 15 goals. He scored 24 goals last season for Barcelona, his first at the club after moving from Mallorca. "I find it positive to be seated here next to great players, who are part of the dream of thousands and thousands of Africans," Eto'o said. "Just a few years ago, I was kicking a ball in a street in Cameroon." Ronaldinho became the third player to win the award twice since its inception in 1991. Fellow Brazilian Ronaldo and France midfielder Zinedine Zidane both have taken the prize three times. Brazilians have now received the honour seven of the 15 times it has been given. (AP)