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FIFA Winners Are.....

Just announced at the Zurich Opera House, the 2008 world players of the year are Portugal/Manchester United midfielder Cristiano Ronaldo and Brazil/Los Angeles Sol forward Marta, her third straight honor.

The federations of Turkey and Armenia were given the Fair Play award for their efforts to bridge historical differences through friendly matches.

The Presidential Award was dedicated to the growth of women's soccer. In the presentation, Canada's Charmaine Hooper singled out the American contributions the past 20 years. The USA's Heather O'Reilly accepted the trophy.

By Steve Goff  |  January 12, 2009; 3:02 PM ET
Categories:  FIFA  
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It's nice to see that Charmaine Hooper presented that award. I recall an old interview in which she seemed a little bitter about the US program. In retrospect, however, she could have been bitter about the lack of opportunities provided by Canada Soccer.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | January 12, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Or she could have been bitter about being Canadian.

Posted by: Reignking | January 12, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Did someone say "Canadian"?!

"We are the Priests of the Temples of Syrinx
Our great computers fill the hallowed halls
We are the Priests, of the Temples of Syrinx
All the gifts of life are held within our walls..."

Posted by: joedoc1 | January 12, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

I always like Hooper. She played until she was really old. Maybe I-270 is correct. Maybe she was bitter at the CSA because this country definitely gave her some opportunities to further her career.

Posted by: yankiboy | January 12, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Marta and Christiane are sexy!

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | January 12, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

OK, back to soccer. I thought Messi would take it. They should just give the next five women's awards to Marta right now.

Is Heather's nickname "Baba"?

Posted by: joedoc1 | January 12, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

I'ts nice to see how far FIFA has come since Sepp was last seen commenting that the women's game would be more exciting if the kits were more revealing.

LOL ... what a tool.

Posted by: Matte | January 12, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Personally, I would have voted for Messi. But it's hard to argue with Ronaldo's pick. They're both right up there.

But for me, Messi is the more incisive player.

Posted by: Matte | January 12, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

OTOH, Barca didn't light the world on fire last spring. That was his downfall. Meanwhile, ManU has been awesome, and Portugal did decently in the Euro.

Posted by: Reignking | January 12, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse


I would have gone with "Lakeside Park" for the Canadian link, but I still like the way you think.

Not much difference in quality of play, so I'd guess leading his club to two championships gave Ronaldo the bump over Messi.

Posted by: Kenobi | January 12, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Ronaldo is the deserved winner of the award, no matter how much I dislike him. Messi is the front runner for next year - no one is even close.

My $ is on Barcelona winning 2 out of the 3 titles they can win this year: League and/or Spanish Cup/Champions League.

Posted by: vmrg1974 | January 12, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe none of the coaches voted for Tim Howard. Bradley voted for Ronaldo, Xavi, and Gerrard. Could they all fit in an empty bucket? Relax, I'm just kidding...

Posted by: nick19 | January 12, 2009 5:49 PM | Report abuse

St. Lucia took the Palm Beach approach and submitted invalid votes for first and second.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | January 12, 2009 9:49 PM | Report abuse

I'm guessing Marta won because 90% of the voters don't follow women's football but remember her from previous years. I don't recall that she had a great Olympics. I could be wrong. It could be that the voters are incredibly well-informed and Marta really lit up the Swedish league for her Umea side!

Posted by: troy6 | January 13, 2009 6:03 AM | Report abuse

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