Fabio Cannavaro FIFA World Player of the Year 2006 View Image Italy's World Cup Hero Fabio Cannavaro completed an outstanding year by adding another accolade to his collection on Monday, winning FIFA's world player of the year award...
The 33-year-old defender, who led Italy to the World Cup title and also was voted the best player in Europe, won with 498 points...
Zinedine Zidane, who took the World Cup's top player award despite receiving a red card in the final for head-butting Marco Materazzi in extra time, was second with 454 points. Ronaldinho was third with 380 points.
Originally Posted by : FIFA World Player of the Year 2006 View Image.Fabio Cannavaro 498 points
It's an unbelievable moment,' said the 33-year-old Real Madrid defender at the awards ceremony inside Zurich's opera house. 'It really has been a golden year.'
Cannavaro ended Ronaldinho's two-year reign as World Player of the Year after he also succeeded the Barcelona playmaker as European Footballer of the Year.
Cannavaro is regarded as one of the best center backs in the game. In August, he took over Zidane's No. 5 shirt at Real Madrid after leaving Juventus following their demotion to the second division because of Italy's match-fixing scandal.
'The competition was scary, it was so strong,' added Cannavaro. 'After winning the World Cup and the European Footballer of the Year award too, I do not think I can ask for anything else.'
"I would like to dedicate this award to Italian football," Cannavaro said. "Everyone knows that we have had problems, and this should be a moment of rebirth for Italian football."
Before moving to Juventus, Cannavaro spent seven years with Parma, where he won the UEFA Cup, and two seasons with Inter Milan.
Cannavaro is only the second Italian to win the FIFA award - Roberto Baggio took it in 1993.
'It is not usual for a defender to be sitting alongside Ronaldinho and Zinedine Zidane, who get to do marvellous things all season, so I saw it as a victory just to be here,' Cannavaro said.
The Italian paid particular tribute to Zidane, his predecessor in the number five shirt at Real and a controversial choice on the World Player shortlist following his red card in the World Cup final.
'When I first came to Real everybody asked me what it meant to be wearing the same shirt,' said Cannavaro. 'I can only say now what I said then, it is an honour to wear the same number as such a great player.'
Zidane, who has won the FIFA award three times, retired from soccer after playing for France in the World Cup final. The 34-year-old midfielder won the 1998 World Cup and the 2000 European Championship with France, plus several league and European titles with Juventus and Real Madrid.
Asked whether he had finally made peace with Materazzi over the World Cup incident, Zidane said "I don't know him," but that he was on good terms with "all Italians."
But the 26-year-old's disappointing World Cup performance overshadowed his success with FC Barcelona in the Spanish league and the European Champions League.
"There are good moments in life, and less good moments. And we had less good moments in some competitions (this year)," Ronaldinho said.
Ronaldinho missed out on a hat trick of player of the year awards. The Brazil playmaker won the title in 2004 and 2005, and another victory would have put him equal with Zidane and Ronaldo for the most awards since their creation in 1991.
Earlier, FIFA honored Brazil as the best team for the fifth year in a row. Italy was second, followed by Argentina.
View Image.Zinedine Zidane 454 points
View Image.Ronaldinho 380 points *Cannavaro is the first defender to win the FIFA award since its inception in 1991.
*Cannavaro is only the second Italian to win the FIFA award - Roberto Baggio took it in 1993.
List Of FIFA World Player of the Year Winners From 1991-Present View Image On the Women's Side..... Marta of Brazil captured the women's FIFA World Player award with 475 points, finishing ahead of Kristine Lilly of the United States with 388 and Renate Lingor of Germany with 305.
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A visibly moved Marta, who was twice runner-up in the awards, said she thanked God for "for everything I have been able to achieve so far."
"I don't feel much pressure. I just want to keep playing at my level," said Marta, who was prevented from competing in the U20 Women's World Championship in Russia ealier this year by her Swedish club Umea IK.
The 20-year old was on the Brazilian side which reached the Olympic final in 2004 before being beaten by the United States.
In 2005 Marta finished second behind Germany's Birgit Prinz, who was not among the three finalists this year.
Other honors awarded Monday included the Fair Play prize, which went to the fans of this year's World Cup in Germany; the Yashin Award for the best goalkeeper to Italy's Gianluigi Buffon; and the FIFA President's Award to former Internazionale legend Giacinto Facchetti, who died in September.
aaaaah awesome!!! fabio was amazing in the WC..... he deserves every bit of it!