The 25-year-old was the key figure in AC Milan’s triumphant Champions League campaign this year. His performances in the Serie A were less influential, whereas someone like Cristiano Ronaldo dominated the domestic scene, provoking heated debates over which set of performances deserved more credit (and indeed, in the Kaka v Ronaldo debate, whether morality mattered more than results).
Second place went to Manchester United winger Cristiano Ronaldo with Barcelona’s Lionel Messi placing third.
The prize was voted for by 96 international journalists from a shortlist of 50 players.
In October Kaka was named FIFPro world player of the year, claiming that accolade after 45,000 members of the players’ union voted in the awards.