King Kaka and Marta crowned
© Foto-net

2007's top players almost predictably both hail from the beautiful game's spiritual home of Brazil. Kaka topped the men's side while Marta scooped the award for the women.

Ac Milan's Kaka, who just days ago snapped up the Ballon d'Or as Europe's top player for 2007, was again the centre of attention on 17 December at the Zurich Opera House. The wide-smiling, elegant midfielder from Brasilia became the fifth Brazilian to be named FIFA World Player of the Year amid boisterous applause and all-around appreciation.

His exploits in helping Milan win both European and world titles played a big role in seeing the thoroughbred midfielder achieve the ultimate success on a night in which he beat out Lionel Messi of Argentina and Barcelona and fleet-footed Manchester United and Portugal trickster Cristiano Ronaldo.

On the women's side of things, sumptuous Umea striker Marta picked up her second player of the year title in succession. She helped drag an amazing Brazilian side to the final of the FIFA Women's World Cup in China in September and is fast emerging as the shining light of the female game.

Rampaging Marta, predictably overwhelmed by the honour, beat out Birgit Prinz of two-time world champions Germany and her own Brazilian team-mate Cristiane.

In the night's other commendations, Barcelona received the FIFA Fair Play award and 'O Rei' Pele picked up the FIFA Presidential Award.