The prestigious Ballon d’Or awards were held in Zurich last night, as FIFA announced who would be named World Player of the Year.
Following votes from international captain’s, coaches and journalists, the nominess were wittered down to just three. The battle to be the best in the World had begun. Would it be Cristiano Ronaldo, Franck Ribery or Lionel Messi?
Lionel Messi has won the past four awards, and the last person to win before that was Ronaldo, way back in 2008, when he led Manchester United the the League and European double.
With Ribery the driving force behind Bayern’s stunning year, he was also in line to win the Ballon d’Or, he would have been the first Frenchmen to win it since Zinedine Zidane in 1998. But first a look at the winners of the other awards that were presented last night.
The legend that is Pele won the first ever Ballon d’Or Prix d’Honneur, which honours players of yesterday year that were not able to win the award due to it only being available to European players back when they played.
The Women’s FIFA Player of the Year was German Goalkeeper Nadine Angerer, becoming the first Goalkeeper to win the award.
The FIFAPro team of the year was as followed
Manuel Neuer, Dani Alves, Sergio Ramos, Thiago Silva, Phillip Lahm, Xavi, Andreas Iniesta, Franck Ribery, Cristiano Ronaldo, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Lionel Messi.
Whilst the Coach award of the year was fought out between ex-Bayern manager Jupp Heynckes, the retired Sir Alex Ferguson and current Borussia Dortmund. In an award that was surely relatively straight forward, Jupp Heynckes was named as the best for the year, as he led Bayern Munich to the treble, the first of its kind for German sides.
Which leads us to the main prize. From one of the greatest to another, Pele would be the man to deliver the announcement on who would be crowned the best in the world 2013. That player is indeed the man from Madeira, Cristiano Ronaldo. Following on from years of watching the little Argentinean claim the prize, Ronaldo finally got his hands on the Gold Sphere. A mammoth 69 goals in 59 appearances helped him to win the award.
A tearful Ronaldo made his speech thanking his wife, son and teammates for helping him to achieve all he had in the past 12 months. Perhaps they were tears of joy, or maybe tears of relief, one thing that is certain was his determination to win over even his fiercest critics to reclaim a prize he first won back in 2008. He showed four years worth of tears in that one moment.
He now joins an elite list of players to have won multiple Ballon d’Or awards.
So as he embarks on a World Cup year and another 12 months with Real Madrid, he can look back on 2013 as his year. Viva Ronaldo indeed.