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Football: Ronaldinho named inaugural World Player of the Year

Brazilian star midfielder Ronaldinho has been named the inaugural World Player of the Year in voting by the international professional football players' union (FIFPro).

The results of voting by 38,000 professional players from 40 countries were announced Monday at a gala awards ceremony in London. Ronaldinho, who helped his country win the 2002 World Cup, adds the honor to the FIFA Player of the Year award he won last December.

The union members also voted in a secret ballot for a "Team of the Year" comprised of players from a shortlist of 55 top names. Those named were: goalkeeper Nelson Dida of Brazil; defenders Paolo Maldini and Alessandro Nesta of Italy, Cafu of Brazil and John Terry of England; midfielders Frank Lampard of England, Ronaldinho of Brazil and Claude Makelele and Zinedine Zidane of France and strikers Samuel Eto'o of Cameroon and Andriy Shevchenko of Ukraine.

Among the other awards handed out: England striker Wayne Rooney won the Young Player of the Year honors, while Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal won a special young player award voted on by fans.

Some information in this story provided by AFP.