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Last Updated: Monday, 19 December 2005, 20:34 GMT
Ronaldinho wins world award again
Runner-up Frank Lampard (left) and winner Ronaldinho
Barcelona playmaker Ronaldinho has been named Fifa's World Player of the Year for the second consecutive season.

The Brazilian gained 960 points in the poll of national coaches and captains.

Chelsea and England midfielder Frank Lampard was second with 429 points and Ronaldinho's Barca team-mate, Samuel Eto'o of Cameroon, third with 190.

Ronaldinho, named European footballer of the year this month, said: "I want to dedicate this award to my teammates, without whom I would not be here."

Ronaldinho added: "I also dedicate it to my family and also to God because he gave me the health to do what I love the most."

Ronaldinho is only the third player to have been voted world player of the year more than once, following his compatriot Ronaldo (1996, 1997 and 2002) and French star Zinedine Zidane (1998, 2000 and 2003).

1991: Lothar Matthaeus
1992: Marco Van Basten
1993: Roberto Baggio
1994: Romario
1995: George Weah
1996, '97, '02: Ronaldo
1998, 2000, '03: Zinedine Zidane
1999: Rivaldo
2001: Luis Figo
2004, '05: Ronaldinho

Lampard said he was proud to be voted in the top three.

"It was my ambition to get to the top, but it seemed a long way away when I was younger," said Lampard.

"When I started at West Ham I was criticised because my uncle was the manager (Harry Redknapp) and my father was the assistant (Frank Lampard).

"This made me a stronger person and a stronger player - it's taken me ten years to answer the criticism through very hard work in training and playing."

Brazil were named team of the year after finishing 44 points clear of their nearest rivals in the rankings.

The Czech Republic were second, improving on their ranking in 2004 by two places.

Frisk award

Germany's Birgit Prinz took the women's prize for the third straight year, while referee Anders Frisk was given Fifa's presidential award.

Frisk was given the award as recognition for a career cut short following death threats against his family.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter said: "This extraordinary man was one of the very best.

"A couple of months ago this Swedish man of integrity decided to retire from refereeing, but not because he has reached the age limit and not because he had lost the joy and passion to be a referee.

"He resigned because he was a victim during a match, suffering unacceptable physical and psychological abuse."

Accepting the award, Frisk said: "During the years if refereeing it has been of the utmost importance to protect the game, the players and the integrity of match officials."


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