HOOFDDORP, NETHERLANDS // Cristiano Ronaldo has been voted player of the year by his fellow professionals in this year's FifPro honours list. The international players' union, which has 57,500 members, announced today that the Manchester United winger, who scored 42 goals last season to help the Red Devils win both the Champions League and Premier League, had topped their poll. "To be recognised by my fellow professional players worldwide coming from over 50,000 players is amazing," the Portugese winger said.
Ronaldo is also a strong contender to win the Fifa award and the European Golden Ball the Ballon d'or organised by the French magazine France Football. "I would like to thank my teammates and coaches and everyone involved at Man United and the national team, as well as my family and friends for their support," Ronaldo said. "Thank you also to FifPro for this award and for your work in protecting the interests and welfare of players around the world."
Five of the Spanish stars who helped guide their country to success in Euro 2008 were named in FifPro's team-of-the-year line-up. With all but one of the players coming from either the Spanish or English leagues, the line-up includes the Real Madrid pair of Iker Casillas and Sergio Ramos, Barcelona's Carles Puyol and Xavi and Liverpool's Fernando Torres. Barcelona's Argentina forward Lionel Messi is also in the team and Rio Ferdinand and Ronaldo represent the reigning Champions League winners Manchester United.
Liverpool's Steven Gerrard, John Terry of Chelsea and AC Milan's Kaka make up the rest of the team, with Kaka the only selection from Italy's Serie A. *AP