"It is a special evening for me. When I was young, I only dreamed of becoming a professional football player for Sao Paolo," said Kaka. "But sometimes God gives us much more than what we think or want.

"And this is my case."

On fellow contenders Lionel Messi (Barcelona) and Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United), Kaka added: "We're all young. This means a new cycle in football is opening up."