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The 2008 FIFA World Player of the Year awards took place on 12 January 2009 at the Zurich Opera Housemarker, Zürichmarker, Switzerlandmarker, with Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United and Portugal taking the men's award, and Marta of Umeå IK (now of Los Angeles Sol) and Brazil taking the women's award for the third year in a row.

Other awards included the FIFA Development Award, which went to the Palestinian Football Federation for keeping its organisation and national team active; Federation President Jibril Al Rajoub, captain of the men's team Ahmad Kashkash, and women's team captain Honey Thaljiyeh were presented with the award. The Palestinian FA carried out a major refurbishment of the Al-Husseini Stadiummarker, meaning that it met the standards to host an international match, becoming the first stadium in Palestinian territories to achieve this honour. Women's football received the FIFA Presidential Award, with the US team presented with the award (for their achievements), and player Heather O'Reilly collecting it. The FIFA Fair Play Award went to the representatives of the Turkish and Armenian national teams. Prior to a European World Cup qualifying match, the Presidents of the two FAs, Mahmut Özgener (Turkey) and Ruben Hayrapetyan (Armeniamarker) shook hands, which was significant as the countries shared a long history of hostility towards each other.

Shortlists of 23 men and 10 women were announced on 29 October 2008, before being reduced to five men and five women by 12 December 2008. The male nominees were Kaká, Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Fernando Torres and Xavi, and the female nominees were Nadine Angerer, Cristiane, Marta, Birgit Prinz and Kelly Smith.



Rank Player Points Team
1 Cristiano Ronaldo 935 Manchester United
2 Lionel Messi 678 Barcelona
3 Fernando Torres 203 Liverpool
4 Kaká 183 Milan
5 Xavi 155 Barcelona
6 Steven Gerrard 98 Liverpool
7 Samuel Eto'o 58 Barcelona
8 Iker Casillas 49 Real Madrid
9= Andrés Iniesta 37 Barcelona
9= David Villa 37 Valencia
11 Andrei Arshavin 36 Zenit St. Petersburg
12 Frank Lampard 33 Chelsea
13 Didier Drogba 30 Chelsea
14= Michael Ballack 27 Chelsea
14= Cesc Fàbregas 27 Arsenal
16 Zlatan Ibrahimović 26 Internazionale
17 Emmanuel Adebayor 25 Arsenal
18 Franck Ribéry 23 Bayern Munich
19 Ruud van Nistelrooy 14 Real Madrid
20 Sergio Agüero 12 Atlético Madrid
21 John Terry 11 Chelsea
22 Gianluigi Buffon 8 Juventus
23 Deco 1 Barcelona



Rank Player Points Team
1 Marta 1002 Umeå
2 Birgit Prinz 328 Frankfurt
3 Cristiane 275 Linköping

4 Nadine Angerer 198 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam

5 Kelly Smith 150 Arsenal
6 Daniela 130 Saad

7 Shannon Boxx 115
8 Hope Solo 83
9 Christine Sinclair 47 Vancouver Whitecaps
10 Ingvild Stensland 41 Kopparbergs/Göteborg


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