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Last Updated: Tuesday January 13 2009 13:42 GMT

Ronaldo's 'world's best player'

Cristiano Ronaldo with his award

Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo has been voted best player in the world for 2008 by other players and managers.

The 23-year-old beat the likes of AC Milan's Kaka and Liverpool's Fernando Torres to win the award, which is run by world footie bosses Fifa.

It's the first time a Premier League player has been given the honour.

Ronaldo said: "It's an overwhelming moment in my career and I'd like to dedicate this award to my family, friends and colleagues."

The award marks the end of a great year for Ronaldo, who scored 42 goals for his club to help them win both the Premier League and Champions League titles.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Marta with their footie awards
Marta and Ronaldo pose with their awards
Personally, he was also named European Player of the Year crown in December and the FifPro World Footballer of the Year in October.

Accepting the award, Ronaldo also praised his boss at United, Alex Ferguson, and said he'd learnt a lot over the past year.

"This is the climax of a fantastic era for me," he said. "I'm happy and proud about what has been done by my team and what we have won.

"I am lucky to be part of the history of a club like Manchester United."

Women's title

Meanwhile, Brazil forward Marta beat England striker Kelly Smith to win the women's award for the third year in a row.

"This is an amazing achievement for me," she said. "This game has given me so many great moments of joy. This award is fantastic and I'd like to thank you all very much."