Cristiano Ronaldo wins Fifa Ballon d’Or

January 14, 2014

ronCristiano Ronaldo has won the Fifa Ballon d’Or for the second time after a stellar year. The Real Madrid forward was emotional as he collected his award and thanked his team-mates for their support.
“First of all I have to say a great thanks to all of my team-mates with the club and the national team,” he said. “Without all of their efforts this would not have been possible. I am very happy, it is very difficult to win this award.
“Everybody that has been involved with me on a personal level I have to thank. My wife, my friends, my son. It is a tremendously emotional moment. All I can say is thank you to everybody that has been involved.”
Scoring at a ratio of over a goal a game, he became the quickest Real Madrid player to reach 200 goals for the club and signed a new deal at the Bernabéu in what was a sensational 2013 for the 28-year-old. He also scored in both legs of Madrid’s Champions League tie against his former side Manchester United but could not help his compatriot José Mourinho capture any silverware in his final year at the club.
Ronaldo won the 2008 Ballon d’Or for his performances as a Manchester United player but since then has seen his great rival Lionel Messi walk off with the prize four years in a row while he has finished as a runner-up three times.
Messi may have dropped below his own high standards in the last year – averaging a meagre goal a game and winning only his sixth Primera Division crown with Barcelona – but he was hoping to collect his fifth straight Ballon d’Or.
Messi’s importance to Barcelona was highlighted during an infamous Champions League mauling at the hands of Franck Ribéry’s Bayern Munich in April when the 26-year-old was an unused substitute in the second leg as he struggled to overcome a hamstring issue.
Ribéry enjoyed being part of an all-conquering Bayern side who swept everyone away domestically and on the European stage, hammering Messi’s Barcelona 7-0 on aggregate in their Champions League semi-final before going on to beat their German rivals Borussia Dortmund in the Wembley final.
While Ribéry collected winners’ medals for the Bundesliga, the German Cup, Champions League, Super Cup and Fifa Club World Cup competitions, Ronaldo did not win a single team accolade with his Real Madrid side in 2013. But the Ballon d’Or is awarded for individual prestige and the Portugal captain once again shone brightly for much of the year.
The first ever Ballon d’Or prix d’honneur was awarded to Pelé. “In the great sweep of history, there are few names that stand out. But when we think of football, there is one name that leaps out above all others,” said the Fifa president Sepp Blatter. “No player has had such an influence on the game. No one has inspired so many to play. His legacy speak to us all. His verve and skill were timeless. His creativity limitless, his good nature boundless.”
“I got so many trophies and prizes but I was jealous because all of those guys who got the Ballon d’Or, which I couldn’t get because I didn’t play in Europe,” Pelé said. “Now I thank God that I can complete my trophies at home.”
The Fifa/Fifpro World XI 2013 was also named and featured the Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, the defenders Philipp Lahm, Sergio Ramos, Thiago Silva and Dani Alves, the midfielders Iniesta, Xavi and Ribéry and the forwards Messi, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Ronaldo.
Jupp Heynckes, who won the Champions League and the German league and cup with Bayern Munich last season, was named as the coach of the year over his fellow Champions League final coach, Dortmund’s Jürgen Klopp. The retired former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson was the third nominee for the coach of the year but he did not attend the ceremony as he is on a family holiday in Barbados.
The German goalkeeper Nadine Angerer, who plays in Australia for the Brisbane Roar, was named as the women’s world player of the year ahead of the Brazilian Marta and the American Abby Wambach. The women’s coach award went to Silvia Neid, who is in charge of the Germany team.
“I have to say that I’m a little surprised, but very thankful. First of all I have to thank everybody that voted for me. I just want to pay my respects to Marta and Abby who have had an incredible year too,” Angerer said.
Ibrahimovic won the Puskas award for the most beautiful goal of the season for his long-distance bicycle kick while playing for Sweden against England. The former head of the International Olympic Committee Jacques Rogges won the presidential award while the Afghanistan football federation were awarded the fair play award.

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