Barcelona and Brazil soccer playmaker Ronaldinho was named FIFA's World Player of the Year for the second straight time in 2005. A member of the winning Brazilian World Cup team in 2002, he has rejuvenated Spanish club Barcelona since his €30 million (£21 million) transfer from Paris St Germain in July 2003 and has developed into a flamboyant match-winner.
He was the inspiration behind Barcelona’s Spanish Championship win in 2004/05 and Brazil’s victory in the Confederations Cup last year. He seems certain to play an influential role in the FIFA World Cup in Germany this summer.
Ronaldinho is only the third player to have been voted Player of the Year more than once, following Ronaldo (1996, 1997, 2002) and Zinedine Zidane (1998, 2000, 2003). Also named European Footballer of the Year, he was voted best striker in the UEFA Champions League tournament of 2004/2005.
From his very first match in a Barcelona shirt, the fans were thrilled by Ronaldinho's spectacular football. His ability to change the course of a match with a brilliant solo effort has made him the fulcrum of the Barcelona attack and he has become one of the football icons of the opening decade of the new millennium. He is under contract with Barcelona until 2010.