Portugese forward Cristiano Ronaldo was awarded the men’s FIFA Ballon d’Or on Monday evening, beating out France’s Franck Ribéry and Argentina’s Lionel Messi.
Ronaldo, who plays for both Portugal’s national team and the Spanish club Real Madrid, was so overcome with emotion he could barely complete his acceptance speech.
"First of all, I have to say a great thanks to all of my team mates with the club and the national team," a tearful Ronaldo said after accepting the prize.
"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."
Messi, a four-time Ballon d’Or winner, finished second, while Ribéry was third.
Until November, Ribéry looked to be the clear favourite. He had a remarkable season with Bayern Munich, which won the Champions League, Bundesliga and German Cup, before going on to take the European Super Cup and Club World Cup.
In recent months, however, Ronaldo had been tipped to win the Ballon d’Or. Although he did not win any major titles last season, he did scored an impressive 66 goals in 56 matches.
The Ballon d'Or has traditionally gone to a player who's enjoyed success on the field, whether with his country or with his club. Three nominees were selected from a shortlist of players. National team coaches and captains as well as journalists from around the world then voted for a winner.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP, REUTERS)
Date created : 2014-01-13