Ronaldo, King of Football

Fri, Jan 17, 2014
By publisher


Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid and Portugal Striker wins the 2013 FIFA World Best Player Award

By Anayo Ezugwu  |  Jan. 27, 2014 @ 01:00 GMT

CRISTIANO Ronaldo, Real Madrid and Portugal striker has won the FIFA individual prestigious award as the world best player for 2013 in Zurich, on Monday, January 13. Ronaldo was named the Ballon d’Or winner for the second time in his career. The Real Madrid star edged out Lionel Messi, Barcelona superstar and Franck Ribery, Bayern Munich winger, to win the award for the second time in five years after his first win at Manchester United in 2008.

Ronaldo said he was the worthy winner of the Ballon d’Or and that the best man won the individual prestigious award. “If people gave the award to me, it is probably true that I deserve it. Messi or Ribery deserved the Ballon d’Or too, but I won it. I feel really happy to win the Ballon d’Or and I share this award with Real Madrid,” he said.

Although the 28-year-old Portuguese failed to claim a major trophy at club level, he has been crowned the world’s outstanding footballer over the course of the last 12 months. Ronaldo received 27.99 percent of the votes from the national team captains, coaches and selected media representatives, with Messi in second on 24.72 percent and Ribery with 23.36 percent. Ronaldo scored a staggering 69 goals in 59 matches for club and country in 2013 and was the favourite to lift the prestigious award. Ronaldo previously won the award in 2008 as a Manchester United player, but has since finished runner-up to Messi on three occasions, in 2009, 2011 and 2012.

Messi has claimed the honour over the past four years but had to make way for his La Liga rival, despite his 43 goals in as many matches last year. While Ribery who helped his club win the treble of Champions League, Bundesliga and German Cup, was the other player in the running but the France international was also to be disappointed.

The Barcelona star who has won the four previous editions of the award, said Ronaldo was a worthy winner of the 2013 Fifa Ballon d’Or. He noted that he was disappointed to have missed out on a fifth-consecutive prize but maintains the injury problems which affected his chances this year should not detract from Ronaldo’s achievement.

“He had a great year, so there is nothing else to say. It was a good year for the three of us and that’s why the three of us were there. Whoever won it would have been a worthy winner. I don’t know if it would have been different if I hadn’t been injured, but I was out for a long time. It meant I wasn’t in the best shape at the end of the Champions League and meant I started the season injured. I was a long time out, but that has nothing to do with it. Cristiano had a great year and he won it on merit. Let’s hope I will be back next year and the club is represented again, just like this year with the four players in the FIFPro XI. I wanted to win it, of course, I always like to win, but as I say I have no complaints; Cristiano is a worthy winner, he deserves it,” he said.

Carlo Ancelotti, Real Madrid coach, has hailed Ronaldo’s professionalism and is confident he can reach an even greater standard of form this year. He said that football needs players like the Portugal international. “I was not surprised by Cristiano Ronaldo’s quality and his goals, but his professionalism on and off the pitch did surprise me. He is an example to follow for younger players. Football needs players like Ronaldo. He’s all about fair play and is always serious. He gives football in general a good image, just like players such as Lionel Messi, Franck Ribery, Thiago Silva and Andrea Pirlo. Ronaldo is both talented and hard work. In modern football, you cannot rely on talent. Talent is genetic, but you also have to work hard. We are all happy for him that he won the Ballon d’Or. He deserves it,” he said.

Edson Arantes do Nascimento, fondly called Pele was recognised after he won the inaugural Ballon d’Or Prix d’honnneur award. The Brazilian master was ineligible for the award during his playing career, which at the time was limited to players plying their trade in Europe. FIFA inaugurated the world footballer of the year award in 1991 and with world football’s governing body amalgamating their award with the Ballon d’or in 2010, the decision was made to honour Pele.

Jupp Heynckes, former Bayern Munich coach, was named coach of the year for the after leading his former club to an unprecedented treble. Nadine Angerer was awarded the Women’s Player of the Year for her part in Germany’s 2013 European Championship triumph. The 35-year-old saved two penalties in the final on July 28, 2013, and was named player of the match following her side’s 1-0 victory over Norway.