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By ESPN Staff
Nov 6, 2006

Ronaldinho lands FIFPro player of the year award

Ronaldinho has been Monday voted FIFPro's player of the year for the 2005-06 season.

The Barcelona and Brazil playmaker received most nominations from the 43,000 players who were invited to cast their vote on the best players of last season.

The 26-year-old was an instrumental figure as Barca claimed the Primera Liga and Champions League crowns, although he failed to reproduce that form at the World Cup, with Brazil being dumped out by France at the quarter-final stage.

FIFPro is the worldwide representative organisation for all professional footballers.

Ronaldinho was delighted to have been handed the accolade for the second season running, and said: ``This is a huge honour and also provides important motivation to keep striving for future progress.''

FIFPro also announced their team of the 2005/06 season, with performances at the World Cup dominating the voting.

Four members of Italy's World Cup-winning team - Gianluigi Buffon, Fabio Cannavaro, Gianluca Zambrotta and Andrea Pirlo - were chosen. Runners-up France had three selections - Lilian Thuram, Zinedine Zidane and Thierry Henry.

Other members of FIFPro's team of the year were England captain John Terry, Brazil's Kaka and Barca duo Samuel Eto'o and Ronaldinho.

Barcelona and Argentina forward Lionel Messi won the ASPIRE Young FIFPro Player Player's Award and Manchester United winger Cristiano Ronaldo was handed the ASPIRE Young Player Fan Award.

Eto'o picked up the FIFPro Merit Award - an accolade given to the player who has made an exceptional and positive contribution to the sport of football.

The Cameroon international was praised for his commitment to football in Africa, and was also hailed for speaking out against racism in the game.

Barcelona won the FIFPro Players for Peace Award, following the club's decision to give up shirt advertisement space to UNICEF.