Zurich, Jan 14 (IANS/EFE) Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo had tears in his eyes Monday as he accepted his second Ballon D’Or as the world’s best soccer player at the annual FIFA awards gala in Switzerland.
The Portuguese forward won the 2008 trophy, but saw Argentine superstriker Lionel Messi – who plays for Real Madrid archrival Barcelona – grab the Ballon D’Or for the next four years running.
Messi, who scored 56 goals in all competitions last year, finished second in the voting for the 2013 prize, followed by France’s Franck Ribery.
Ronaldo put up 69 goals last year for Real Madrid and the Portuguese national squad, including a hat trick in Portugal’s World Cup playoff win over Sweden.
“There are no words to describe this moment,” Ronaldo said from the stage, where he was joined by his young son. “Thank you to my teammates at Real Madrid and the national team.”
Germany took the other top honours at the FIFA event in Zurich: Nadine Angerer, best female player; Silvia Neid, best women’s soccer coach; and Jupp Heynckes, proclaimed coach of the year after guiding Bayern Munich to the Bundesliga, Champions League and German cup titles.
Also announced were the FIFPro World XI, as chosen by the votes of more than 45,000 players worldwide.
Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich)
Defenders: Daniel Alves (Barcelona), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Thiago Silva (Paris Saint-Germain) and Philip Lahm (Bayern Munich).
Midfielders: Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), Xavi Hernandez (Barcelona) and Ribery (Bayern Munich).
Forwards: Messi, Zlatan Ibrahimovic (PSG) and Ronaldo.