International Soccer "Team of the Year Award" Goes to Iraq!
Obviously, in the Soccer World, this is a huge honor.
And… This was the first time any Asian team won the award.
RNPS PICTURES OF THE YEAR – INDONESIA– Iraq’s captain Younis Mahmoud celebrates after he scored against Saudi Arabia, which led the team to win their final match at the 2007 AFC Asian Cup soccer tournament at the Gelora Bung Karno stadium in Jakarta July 29, 2007. (REUTERS/Jerry Lampen)
Iraqi-American Haider Ajina passed on this news today…
The Iraqi National Soccer Team became the first Asian team to win “Team of the Year” honors at the World Soccer Awards.
Ricardo Izecson Dos Santos Leite, better known as Kaka, is World Soccer’s World Player of the Year for 2007. The Milan and Brazil star was the clear winner in our 26th annual poll, with Barcelona’s Lionel Messi second and Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United third.
The Brazilian garnered 52.8 per cent of your votes, making him only the second player in the history of the award, after Michel Platini in 1984, to receive more than half the votes cast.
The poll also confirmed that Spain, Italy and England have the world’s top leagues – nine of the top 10 are with clubs in one of them, and the poll was conducted when new Boca Juniors signing Juan Riquelme was at Villarreal.
Sir Alex Ferguson won the manager award for a record third time after steering Manchester United to the English championship title for the first time in four years. Ferguson just pipped the now Tottenham manager Juande Ramos, who completed a five-trophy haul in 15 months with Sevilla when leading them to a second successive UEFA Cup triumph, the Spanish Cup and the Spanish Super Cup. Milan’s Carlo Ancelotti was third.
Iraq’s extraordinary journey from war-torn also-rans to continental champions with victory at the Asian Cup earned them the team award, the first time it has gone to an Asian side. Milan were second and Sevilla third.
WORLD PLAYER OF THE YEAR % of votes
1 Kaka (Milan & Brazil) 52.8
2 Lionel Messi (Barcelona & Argentina) 17.6
3 Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United & Portugal) 16.0
4 Didier Drogba (Chelsea & Ivory Coast) 4.4
5 Juan Roman Riquelme (Boca Juniors/Villarreal & Argentina) 1.2
6 Cesc Fabregas (Arsenal & Spain) 0.8
7 Francesco Totti (Roma) 0.7
8 Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Internazionale & Sweden) 0.6
9 Ruud Van Nistelrooy (Real Madrid & Holland) 0.5
10 Ronaldinho (Barcelona & Brazil) 0.4
WORLD MANAGER OF THE YEAR
1 Alex Ferguson (Manchester United) 26.4
2 Juande Ramos (Sevilla/Tottenham) 25.6
3 Carlo Ancelotti (Milan) 14.8
4 Arsene Wenger (Arsenal) 8.4
5 Roberto Mancini (Internazionale) 6.5
6 Jose Mourinho (Chelsea) 5.2
7 Jorvan Vieira (Iraq) 4.2
8 Alex McLeish (Scotland) 3.1
9 Fabio Capello (Real Madrid) 1.2
10 Rafa Benitez (Liverpool) 0.5
WORLD TEAM OF THE YEAR
1 Iraq 22.2
2 Milan 21.5
3 Sevilla 16.6
4 Manchester United 10.5
5 Boca Juniors 9.1
6 Brazil 6.8
7 Argentina 5.2
8 Real Madrid 1.1
9 Scotland 1.0
10 Barcelona 0.8
The Iraqi National Team wept as they stepped off the plane in Baghdad after their triumph at the Asian Games.
Iraqis filled the streets to celebrate in Baghdad during the Asian Cup games in July. (AFP)