Real Madrid and Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo has won the FIFA Ballon d’Or, beating Leo Messi and Franck Ribery.
The announcement was made at this evening’s ceremony in Zurich, attended by the best and brightest in world football.
“First of all I have to say a great thanks to all of my teammates with the club and the national team,” said Ronaldo as he picked up the award with his son.
“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.”
Ribery had been an early favourite after winning the Champions League and Bundesliga with Bayern Munich.
However, Ronaldo surged up the standings thanks to an extraordinary start to the season and his decisive hat-trick for Portugal in the World Cup play-offs against Sweden.
Ronaldo won with 27.99% of the vote, while Messi had 24.72% and Ribery 23.36%.
He succeeds Barcelona and Argentina forward Messi, who won in 2010, 2011 and 2012.
It’s the second victory for Ronaldo, who finished runner-up in the last two editions and won it in 2008.
Unsurprisingly, Jupp Heynckes was named Coach of the Year after lifting the Champions League with Bayern Munich on the verge of his retirement.
“I’m tremendously thankful to be here to pick up this award today,” said the tactician.
“It means a lot to pick up an award right at the end of my career. Maybe 10 years ago, I wouldn’t even have dreamt of this. I am humbled and happy to be standing here. Thank you very much.”
Brazil legend Pele was moved to tears when collecting the FIFA Prix D’Honneur.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic won the FIFA Puskas Award for best goal of 2013, a prize that Udinese’s Antonio Di Natale had also been up for and was decided by a public vote.
He won for his overhead kick for Sweden against England.
“I am very proud to be here tonight and I'd like to congratulate all the other nominees,” said the PSG striker.
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