BRAZILIAN Ronaldinho has won the 2009 Golden Foot, the international career award dedicated to the champions of world football.
The voting this year was a close battle against Real Madrid's Raúl, Thierry Henry from Barcelona and Italian stopper Gianluigi Buffon. But the fans gave the AC Milan star 43.755 votes, against the 31.762 for Raúl and 25.537 for Thierry Henry.
The total votes collected on the website www.goldenfoot.com were 158.470, coming mainly from Brazil, Turkey, United States, China, Italy, Mexico, Argentina, Hungary, Greece and Germany. Ronaldinho follows in the foot steps of another Brazilian, Roberto Carlos, who won the award last year.
Golden Foot winners must be at least 29-year-old and stand out for their sport results (both as single players and with their team), for their personality and for the esteem of the public and football experts.
The winner is chosen out of a ten nominees list decided by a jury consisting of the Golden Foot media partners representatives and of the fans from all over the world who give their preferential vote through the official site.
This year's "all time" legend awards were given to Zbigniew Boniek (Poland), Oleg Blokhin (Ukraine), René Higuita (Colombia), Karl-Heinz Rummenigge (Germany) and Nilton Santos (Brazil), who couldn't receive the award and was represented by Botafogo FR deputy chairman, José Luiz Rolim.