Lisbon, Jan 21: Portuguese football super star Cristiano Ronaldo was awarded the country’s top honour by President Anibal Cavaco Silva Monday, a week after he won the most prestigious Ballon d’Or 2013.
At the ceremony awarding the footballer with the rank of Grand Officer of the Order of Infante D. Henrique at the Presidential Palace, Cavaco Silva praised Ronaldo for his contribution for the national team and the prestige he has brought for Portugal around the world.
The president thanked Ronaldo for the joys he has brought to the Portuguese and justified the award for his “indisputable talent” “hard work, discipline, determination and will to win”, Xinhua reported.
Ronaldo said that it was “a moment of great pride ” and the award gave him “motivation to work harder” to “represent Portugal at the highest level”.
The 28-year-old Real Madrid forward showed Cavaco Silva the Ballon d’Or trophy which he won in 2008 for the first time and will go on display in his private museum opened in December last year in his native Madeira Island.
Ronaldo ended 2013 with an impressive record of 69 goals – 59 for Real Madrid and 10 goals for his national team. He helped Portugal win the entry into the 2014 Brazil World Cup after defeating Sweden in two qualifying matches in November last year.