• Ballon d'Or

Ronaldo wins 2013 FIFA Ballon d'Or

ESPN staff
January 13, 2014
Ronaldo: Best player in the world

Cristiano Ronaldo has been named the 2013 Ballon d'Or winner by FIFA voters ahead of Lionel Messi and Franck Ribery.

A bumper year for Ronaldo saw him scoop football's most prestigious individual award at FIFA's gala evening in Zurich. The Real Madrid winger was heavy favourite prior to the announcement on Monday, having scored 66 goals in 56 games for club and country throughout the year as well as sealing 2014 World Cup qualification for Portugal by scoring a brilliant hat-trick against Sweden in their play-off match. It is the second time Ronaldo has won the award, the first coming in 2008.

Messi, who had been named winner for the past four years, missed the last six weeks of the year through injury but had scored 42 goals in 45 appearances for Barcelona and Argentina as well as winning La Liga and the Copa del Rey. Ribery enjoyed a treble-winning season with Bayern Munich, completing the Bundesliga, German Cup and Champions League trio and also helped France qualify for the World Cup.

Emotional Ronaldo thankful for support

There were tears on stage in Zurich © Getty Images
  • After breaking down in tears on the Zurich stage, 2013 FIFA Ballon d'Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo paid tribute to his team-mates and family.
  • "First of all, I have to say a great thanks to all of my team-mates with the club and the national team," Ronaldo 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."

Pele, who opened the golden envelope to announce Ronaldo as World Player of the Year, earlier won the first ever Ballon d'Or Prix d'Honneur award.

Elsewhere, former Bayern boss Jupp Heynckes was presented with the Coach of the Year award by England manager Roy Hodgson, beating Jurgen Klopp and Sir Alex Ferguson to the trophy. Heynckes guided Bayern to a 2013 treble including Champions League triumph over rivals Borussia Dortmund.

All three Ballon d'Or nominees were included in the FIFPRO World XI, otherwise known as the team of the year. No Premier League players featured for the second successive year, but the Bundesliga and Ligue One had players included for the first time in the award's history.

The team was made up of Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich and Germany) as goalkeeper while Dani Alves (Barcelona and Brazil), Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich and Germany), Thiago Silva (Paris Saint-Germain and Brazil) and Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid and Spain) made up the defence.

Xavi (Barcelona and Spain), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona and Spain) and Ribery (Bayern Munich and France) were named in midfield with Ronaldo (Real Madrid and Portugal), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Paris Saint-Germain and Sweden) and Messi (Barcelona and Argentina) completing the line-up.

Elsewhere, former International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge picked up the Presidential Award, while Germany coach Silvia Neid was named Women's Coach of the Year.

Ibrahimovic collected the Ferenc Puskas award - given to the player who scored the best goal of 2013 - for his 40-yard overhead kick against England. Afghanistan was given the Fair Play award and Germany goalkeeper Nadine Angerer was named Women's World Player of the Year.

Pele was handed the first Ballon d'Or Prix d'Honneur award © Getty Images
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