AC Milan midfielder Kaka won the 2007 Golden Ball award
AC Milan midfielder Kaka won the 2007 Golden Ball award Sunday in Paris after helping the Italian club win the Champions League title this year with some standout performances.
The 25-year-old Brazil international notably played a starring role in AC Milan's triumphant Champions League campaign scoring 10 goals.
"It has been a special year for me, this award underlines that," Kaka said. "The only way to win an award like this is to belong to a team which fights. I have to thank the players, the coach."
"It's a great honour as the wife of Kaka to be at this ceremony. I know how important it was for my husband to win this trophy," said his wife Caroline.
Kaka received 444 points from France Football magazine, which organized the vote. Portugal and Manchester United winger Cristiano Ronaldo was second with 277, while Argentina and FC Barcelona forward Lionel Messi finished third with 255.
Italy captain Fabio Cannavaro won the award last year after leading his team to the World Cup title in Germany.
The 52 journalists were only allowed to vote for a player from a European club.
This year's format was different, involving 96 journalists and a shortlist of 50 players worldwide.
Chelsea striker Didier Drogba was fourth with 108 points, and Italy and Milan midfielder Andrea Pirlo finished fifth with 41.
After helping Real Madrid win the Spanish league title, striker Ruud van Nistelrooy was sixth. Brazil forward Ronaldinho, the 2005 winner, dropped to 12th, and France striker Thierry Henry was 19th.