Hunger Ambassador Kaka accepts World Player of the Year award
Rome, 17 December 2007 – Brazil and AC Milan star Kaka, a United Nations World Food (WFP) Programme Ambassador Against Hunger, accepted the 2007 FIFA World Player of the Year award today
with a moving reminder to all sports fans that it takes more than pure talent to become the best soccer player in the world.
“It’s no small achievement being named the FIFA Footballer of the Year, but I am all too aware that I reached these heights because I had the chance to fully exploit my potential. I strongly
believe that every child in the world must have the same right, ” said Kaka, who grew-up playing soccer with poor, undernourished children from Sao Paolo’s urban slums – each one dreaming of
Double recognition – The 25-year-old striker becomes the second WFP Ambassador in three years to hold both the FIFA award as well as the prestigious «Ballon D’Or», or
European Footballer of the Year, title at the same time. Kaka’s fellow WFP Ambassador Ronaldinho of Barcelona and Brazil held both titles in 2005.
The double recognition follows Kaka’s standout role in Milan’s Champions’ League victory last May against Liverpool — achieved less than 24 hours after he had dedicated his participation in
the match to the cause of hungry children.
Kick-off – «We are thrilled that a member of the WFP team has won the highest accolade available to a professional soccer player,» said Nancy Roman, WFP Director of
«I can’t think of a better person to kick-off WFP’s “Red Cup” global campaign. With Kaka’s support off the pitch, we can win our own match against hunger.”
“WFP school feeding is the best possible investment we can make to safeguard a child’s hope to simply have a future,” said Kaka. “We say that «you can’t put a price on life», that’s
horribly wrong. It takes only US 10 cents a day to buy a meal and that’s worth a full life.”
“Today, I ask you to support me in my job as WFP Ambassador, to make sure that the hunger, that still threatens the future of 59 million school children will became just a bad memory.”
Hunger essay – Earlier this season, Kaka invited a nine-year-old student from Brazil Nicole Ribeiro Ferreira to attend an AC Milan home match as his special guest after hearing that she
had won a WFP competition for the most compelling essay on hunger.
Kaka, who became a WFP Ambassador Against Hunger in 2004, is one of several international sports stars who are donating their time and celebrity status to help put hunger under the
They include Ronaldinho; marathon recordman Paul Tergat of Kenya; cricket’s record-breaking wicket-taker Muttiah Muralitharan of Sri Lanka; and former Rugby World Cup-winning captains Nick
Farr-Jones of Australia and New Zealand’s David Kirk.