Tuesday, January 14, 2014


No 1: Cristiano Ronaldo has won the Ballon d'Or and named the greatest football player in the world

It was a long wait for the Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo as he was crowned the FIFA World Player of the Year for the second time, breaking the stranglehold of his great adversary,Lionel Messi.

Ronaldo saw off competition from Barcelona’s Messi and Bayern Munich’s Franck Ribery to claim the coveted Ballon d’Or. 
An emotional Ronaldo walked onto the stage to collect his award with his son Cristiano and couldn't hold back the tears as he was presented with the trophy.
Winner: Pele holds up Ronaldo's son Cristiano as the Portuguese star picks up his award
The 28-year-old was honoured after scoring 66 goals in 56 appearances for club and country Portugal in 2013 as he finally reclaimed the trophy he last held in 2008. 

Even though Ronaldo did not win any major trophies in 2013, he did score all four goals as Portugal beat Sweden in the World Cup play-offs to secure their place in Brazil this summer. 
Unbelievable: Ronaldo scored a hat-trick for Portugal against Sweden to send them into the World Cup

'There are no words to describe this moment,' Ronaldo said, wiping away tears.
'I want to thank all my colleagues and companions at Real Madrid, in the Portuguese team and my family who are here with me.

'Those who know me, know that many people help me: my manager, our President, and i don't want to forget to mention Eusebio. My girlfriend and my son too. I am deeply moved.' 
All dressed up: Ronaldo with his son Cristiano and girlfriend Irini Shayk

In the mixed zone afterwards, the Portugal captain was quoted as saying by AS: 'I don't know if it's fair or not. Ribery could have won it as much as me.

I've had a very good season at an individual level. I want to be here again next year and win it again.

'My mum (who was in attendance) cries very easily and when I saw her crying it made me cry as well. I'm an emotional person.'

On his rivalry with Messi, the 28-year-old added: 'I have a very professional relationship with Messi, he's a player I admire. 

Nominees: The trio of Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Franck Ribery before the ceremony
'I'm happy to compete with the best. I'm going to try win things with Madrid and the national team, and I hope to be here (again next year) and win.'

Messi had held exclusive rights to the award in recent seasons as he became the first player to win the Ballon d'Or four consecutive times.

He too had another memorable year in 2013, but it was not quite enough to see him claim a fifth successive gong and he hailed Ronaldo as a just winner.

'I want to congratulate Cristiano because he was the winner and deservedly so. I think it was a good year for the three of us and that's why we were there.

Flashing smile: Messi was at the event with his girlfriend Antonella Roccuzzo
'I have nothing to complain about or make any excuses,' said the 26-year-old, who again caught the attention at the gala with his fashion choice as he wore a shiny burgundy three-piece suit.

Erstwhile Bayern Munich manager Jupp Heynckes has been named coach of the year by FIFA after leading the UEFA Champions league winner and Bundesliga giant  to an unprecedented treble last season
Trophy time: Former Bayern Munich coach Jupp Heynckes (left) is presented with his award by England manager Roy Hodgson

‘It is a great honour to win this award today because it is an innovation that someone who has retired should receive such a distinction,’ Heynckes said.

‘It means an awful lot to pick up this award at the end of my career. It is not just down to me but the whole club of Bayern Munich.’

Brazilian legend Pele was presented with the inaugural Ballon d’Or Prix d’Honneur. 
Incomparable: Legendary striker Pele won an honourary prize at the Gala in Zurich
Pele said: ‘I played for almost 30 years and I got so many trophies and prizes but I was jealous because all those guys used to get the Ballon d’Or and I did not play in Europe.
‘Now, thanks to God, I have completed my trophy haul!’  

German keeper Nadine Angerer won the women's Player of the Year award.
Angerer was part of the Germany team that won the women's European Championships last year

Recognised: German keeper Nadine Angerer won the women's Player of the Year award

The team of the year featured Manuel Neuer in goal, Philipp Lahm, Sergio Ramos, Thiago Silva and Dani Alves in defence, midfielders Andres Iniesta, Xavi and Ribery with Ronaldo, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Messi in attack.

Plaudits: Ibrahimovic is congratulated by QPR keeper Julio Cesar (left) and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban
And for the goal of the year, Zlatan Ibrahimovic's incredible 'propellor kick' goal against England won him the FIFA Puskas Award for Goal of the Year at the Ballon d'Or ceremony. 
Flying without wings: The stunning effort was the fourth goal of an incredible four-strike display

Deep in injury time and with Sweden winning 3-2, Joe Hart headed a clearance up rather than away and Ibrahimovic followed it through the air before springing to apply an overhead kick from 30 yards out, wide on the right, which arched over the stranded goalkeeper and into the open goal.
Jumping for joy: Ibrahimpvic rips off his shirt in celebration in front of delirious Swedish supporters

The magical strike was included in the shortlist for the 2013 award because it was scored after the voting began for the 2012 prize.

It was also the second time the Swedish icon was honoured - he was named in the FIFPro team of the year alongside Ballon d'Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo and runner up Lionel Messi.
 Summarily, it must be said that the Balon d'Or edition of 2013 was a colorful one and less controversial 

Source: DailyMail

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