Cristiano Ronaldo won the FIFA Ballon d’Or award for 2014 on Monday, earning the title of world’s best football player for a third time.
He easily beat four-time winner Lionel Messi and Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer in a vote of national team captains and coaches from FIFA’s 209 member countries, plus selected journalists. Cristiano Ronaldo received 37.66% of all votes ahead of Lionel Messi (15.76%) & Manuel Neuer (15.72%).
Ronaldo retained football’s highest individual honor after scoring 61 goals for Real Madrid and Portugal last year. His record tally of 17 in a Champions League season helped his club win an unprecedented 10th European Cup title — and overshadowed a relatively disappointing World Cup campaign.
Ronaldo was more composed for this widely expected victory than during his tearful speech one year ago when ending Messi’s four-year reign. He first won the award for 2008 as a Manchester United player.
On hearing his name read out by French great Thierry Henry, Ronaldo closed his eyes, dipped his head and smiled before walking to the stage.
“It has been an unforgettable year,” Ronaldo said after taking a deep breath.
“I can see my mother, my family. I would like to thank all those who voted for me, my coach, my fellow player, the President of my club. He added
To win this trophy, a trophy of this kind, is something unique and all I can say is I want to continue working as I have so far, trying to go on to more titles – individual and as a team – for my mother, my father who is up there looking at there any my son.
“I want to get better as the days go by. I want to say to all the Portuguese that I never thought I could win this trophy on three different occasions. Of course it is something that is always with me, I want to become one of the greatest players of all time, and this requires a lot so I would like to thank you for all this evening.”
Germany midfielder, Nadine Kessler, claimed her first-ever FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year award. Germany coach, Joachim Löw, and compatriot Ralf Kellermann, coach of VfL Wolfsburg Ladies, were named as FIFA World Coaches of the Year for Men’s and Women’s Football, respectively. The winners were chosen by the coaches and captains of national teams as well as by international media representatives invited by FIFA and France Football.
International players’ union FIFPro also invited 24,000 professional players from around the world to vote for the FIFA FIFPro World XI, the best team of 2014, with the following result: Manuel Neuer (Germany) in goal; David Luiz (Brazil), Philipp Lahm (Germany), Sergio Ramos (Spain) and Thiago Silva (Brazil) in defence; Ángel Di María (Argentina), Andrés Iniesta (Spain) and Toni Kroos (Germany) in midfield; and Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Lionel Messi (Argentina) and Arjen Robben (Netherlands) in attack.
Pictures: Cristiano Ronaldo at the FIFA Ballon D’OR Gala 2014[fbphotos id=901247403248144]
The FIFA Puskás Award for the best goal of the year was also presented after 3.3 million football fans cast their votes on FIFA.com, FIFA on YouTube and francefootball.fr. This award, which honours Ferenc Puskás, the captain and star of the 1950s Hungary team, was won by Colombian midfielder James Rodríguez, who demonstrated perfect technique to give his side a 1-0 lead over Uruguay in the round of 16 at the 2014 FIFA World Cup (final score: 2-0). Rodríguez topped the poll with 42% of the votes ahead of Stephanie Roche (33%) and Robin van Persie (11%).
FIFA Ballon D’OR Gala 2014 | Red Carpet