AC Milan Brazilian playmaker Kaka was named as FIFA’s World Player of the Year on Monday (Dec 17) ahead of Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo.

World Player of the Year is picked from a poll by the coaches and captains of 165 national teams (they can’t vote for their team mates).

This is Kaka’s 2nd major personal award in a month after winning the European Player of the Year.

Ronaldo is on a goal scoring spree… he scored his 12th goal in 9 games at weekend match against Derby County. Manchester United won the game in the end with 4-1.

Manchester United have benefited from Ronaldo’s great form. They already qualified for the knockout stage in UEFA Champions League, thanks to a Ronaldo’s injury time goal against Lisbon.

MU also closed their gap with Arsenal in English Premier League to one point after the league leader unexpected slip against Boro. Ronaldo’s three goals in the last two EPL matches played important role as well.

AC Milan playmaker Kaka has been named European Player of the Year for 2007, with Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United in second place.

The Brazilian, 25, was the Champions League’s top scorer last season with 10 goals as he led his team to the title, beating Liverpool in Athens in the final.

He wins the Golden Ball after amassing 444 points in France Football’s survey of 96 journalists from around the world.

Each was asked to vote on a shortlist of 50 players and Ronaldo came a distant second with 277 points.

United winger Ronaldo, 22, was also in sensational form last term, scoring 25 goals in all for the Barclays Premier League club and Portugal.

Barcelona’s 20-year-old Argentina forward Lionel Messi came third in the vote after emerging as a world-class talent for club and country.

The same trio – Kaka, Ronaldo and Messi – have also been shortlisted for FIFA’s world player of the year award which will be announced in Zurich on December 17.