Ballon d'Or 2013: Cristiano Ronaldo beats Messi and Ribery

A tearful Cristiano Ronaldo accepted the coveted FIFA Ballon d'Or having beaten stars like Bayern Munich’s Franck Ribery and Lionel Messi from Barcelona. The Real Madrid player and Portugal captain was named world player of the year for the second time having been honoured in 2008.

Ronaldo’s success on the pitch last season led the panel of national coaches, captains and journalists to award him 1,365 points. Messi had 1,205 and Ribery was third with 1,127 after all votes were cast by 184 national captain, 184 coaches and 173 members of the world’s media.

Messi had won the award for the past 4 seasons but his performances during 2013 were not a match for Ronaldo’s who scored 66 goals in 56 matches for his club and his country. A sensational hat-trick in the FIFA World Cup play-off second leg tie against Sweden sticks in the mind of most who saw it, but the award was his because of his consistency across the year.

During his acceptance speech the 28 year old player said: “First of all, I have to say a great thanks to all of my team-mates with the club and the national team.” Ronaldo was emotional throughout and said: “I am very happy, it is very difficult to win this award.”

He thanked “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.”

PHOTO GALLERY Ballon d'Or 2013: Cristiano Ronaldo beats Messi and Ribery

Aside from Ronaldo’s award, FIFA also awarded the Ballon d'Or Prix d'Honneur to Brazilian legend Pele. “I promised to my family that I would not cry but I am emotional,” he said during his acceptance speech. “I got so many trophies and prizes but I was jealous of all of those guys who got the Ballon d'Or, which I couldn't get because I didn't play in Europe.”

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