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By ESPN Staff

Kaka named FIFPro world player of the year

MILAN, Oct 5 (Reuters) - AC Milan forward Kaka was named FIFPro World Player of the Year on Friday for inspiring his side to a seventh European Cup win in May.

More than 45,000 professional footballers throughout the world, members of the players' union FIFPro, were invited to vote in the annual awards which are in their third year.

The 25-year-old Brazilian was instrumental in Milan's Champions League triumph, ending up top scorer with 10 goals including three in the semi-final win over Manchester United.

Kaka, the subject of an unsuccessful bid from Real Madrid in the close season, was also a driving force in helping Milan to finish fourth in Serie A last term despite an eight-point deduction for match-fixing.

However, he missed Brazil's Copa America victory in July because he opted out of the tournament to rest.

Last year, Barcelona forward and fellow Brazil player Ronaldinho was named FIFPro World Player of the Year for the second time in succession.

'I am humbled to receive such an honour,' Kaka told reporters. 'To follow my good friend and such a great player as Ronaldinho makes this a very special award for me. To be recognised by my fellow professional players worldwide is amazing.'

FIFPro also announced their 2006/07 World XI on Friday:

Gianluigi Buffon (Italy/Juventus); Alessandro Nesta (Italy/AC Milan), Fabio Cannavaro (Italy/Real Madrid), John Terry (England/Chelsea), Carles Puyol (Spain/Barcelona); Steven Gerrard (England/Liverpool), Cristiano Ronaldo (England/Manchester United); Kaka (Brazil/AC Milan); Lionel Messi (Argentina/Barcelona), Didier Drogba (Ivory Coast/Chelsea), Ronaldinho (Brazil/Barcelona)