Cristiano Ronaldo was crowned the king of soccer today, winning the FIFA Ballon D’Or for the second time. The Portuguese star was moved to tears when Pelé read his name and announced he had beaten fellow finalists Lionel Messi and Franck Ribery to the honor.
Ronaldo had an exceptional year, scoring 59 times in 50 games for Real Madrid and delivering when it mattered most for his country with a stunning hat trick in the European playoffs to lead Portugal to the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™.
“I have to say a great thanks to all of my teammates with the club and the national team; without all of their efforts this would not have been possible,” Ronaldo said in Portuguese.
“I am very happy, it is very difficult to win this award. … It is a tremendously emotional moment. All I can say is thank you to everybody that has been involved.”
The wondrous winger joins Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldo (Brazil), Ronaldinho and Messi as two-time winners of the best player in the world honors and breaks Messi’s streak of three straight Ballon D’Or trophies. Ronaldo finished second to his La Liga rival the past two years.
Cristiano Ronaldo previously was honored in 2008 as FIFA World Player of the Year while playing for Manchester United when he led the Red Devils to English Premier League and UEFA Champions League glory.
Other awards handed out during Monday’s ceremony include:
FIFA Women’s World Player
Nadine Angerer, Germany
FIFA World Starting XI
Goalkeeper: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich)
Defenders: Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Thiago Silva (Paris Saint-Germain), Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich), Dani Alves (Barcelona)
Midfielders: Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), Xavi (Barcelona), Franck Ribery (Bayern Munich)
Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Paris Saint-Germain), Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
FIFA World Coach Women’s Football
Silvia Neid, Germany National Team
FIFA World Coach Men’s Football
Jupp Heynckes, Bayern Munich (retired)
FIFA Presidential Award
Jacques Rogge, President of the International Olympics Committee, 2001-2013
FIFA Fair Play Award
Afghanistan Football Federation
FIFA Puskas Award (Best Goal)
Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Sweden v England
FIFA Ballon D’Or Prix D’Honneur
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