Cristiano Ronaldo is the recipient of the 2013 Ballon d’Or Award, beating fellow world superstars Leo Messi and Franck Ribery to win the prestigious award.
For the past three years, Messi has won the Ballon d’Or while Ronaldo has been runner-up. But in a 2013 year where Messi’s season was disrupted by injury, Ronaldo was able to continue playing at the top of his game and climbing to new heights to finish off the year in style, which culminated in Ronaldo helping Portugal reach the 2014 World Cup. This summer, Portugal will face the United States in the 2014 World Cup.
This is the second time that Ronaldo has won the Ballon d’Or Award. The first time he won it was in 2008 when he was at Manchester United.
Congratulations to Ronaldo, and commiserations to Franck Ribery and Leo Messi.
Watch Cristiano Ronaldo’s 2013 accomplishment of 69 goals and 17 assists in competitive games:
Further reading: For more news, analysis and opinion on Cristiano Ronaldo, visit our Cristiano Ronaldo page.
In addition to Ronaldo winning the award, Pele received the Ballon d’Or Prix d’Honneur from FIFA as a honorary award, while Zlatan Ibrahimovic won goal of the year and Jupp Heynckes won coach of the year.
In accepting the award, Pele said:
“I promised to my family that I would not cry but I am emotional. First of all I have to thank God for giving me the health to play so many years.
“Of course I did not play alone. When we talk about my friends people remember the players but we don’t have to forget the guy who cleaned the shoes, the masseur – I had a lot of good people on my side. I have to share with them all this trophy.
“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. Now I thank God that I can complete my trophies at home.”