Bright lights on Gala night
© AFP

AC Milan and Brazil ace Kaka picked up the 2007 FIFA World Player of the Year award just days after scooping the Ballon d'Or and winning the FIFA Club World Cup in Tokyo. Typically humble, the elegant midfielder turned his attention to his early, unsure days.

"When I was a boy all I wanted to do was play for Sao Paulo and maybe get one cap for Brazil," he said. Humbled by the moment, the best player in the world seemed overwhelmed by the award and the Gala event at the Zurich Opera House on Monday night.

Cristiano Ronaldo, the jet-heeled Manchester United and Portugal winger, may have finished third but the Red Devils star insisted that he was honoured simply to have been nominated. "It's great for me," he exclaimed. "I'm the happiest man in the world!" Lionel Messi of Argentina and Barcelona also managed a smile despite the hamstring tear he picked up on Saturday that will keep him out of next weekend's 'Clasico' between Real Madrid and Barca, claiming: "Whether it be for Argentina or Barcelona, all I want to be is a champion."

And these three shining stars weren't the only ones to go in front of FIFA.com's camera on Monday night. Women's World Player of the Year for a second straight year, Marta, took time out between joyful sobs to chat, as did runner-up Birgit Prinz of Germany and third-place Cristiane.

O Rei, Pele, who picked up the Presidential award for a life in football without rival, also took time out to talk with FIFA.com as did beach soccer standout Buru of Brazil and Bayern Munich's teenage sensation Toni Kroos.

Click on the links to the right to see all the video interviews from Monday's Gala.