Ronaldo wins Golden Ball
ZURICH (AP) – Cristiano Ronaldo has won the FIFA Ballon d’Or (Golden Ball) award for 2013, ending Lionel Messi’s four-year run as the world’s best football player.
Ronaldo scored 69 goals for Real Madrid and Portugal last year, and his stunning hat trick against Sweden in a decisive World Cup playoff was perhaps the defining individual performance.
Ronaldo was sobbing in tears as he accepted the award with his son beside him, saying “there are no words to describe this moment”.
He defeated Barcelona’s Messi and France winger Franck Ribery, who helped Bayern Munich to a sweep of major titles.
Voting was done by national team captains and coaches, plus selected journalists, in FIFA’s 209 member countries.
Ronaldo was also named in the FIFA-FIFPro world all-star team announced today, as voted on by more than 65 000 players. They full team is:
Goalkeeper: Manuel Neuer, Bayern Munich and Germany.
Defenders: Daniel Alves, Barcelona and Brazil; Philipp Lahm, Bayern Munich and Germany; Sergio Ramos, Real Madrid and Spain; Thiago Silva, Paris Saint-Germain and Brazil.
Midfielders: Xavi Hernandez, Barcelona and Spain; Andres Iniesta, Barcelona and Spain; Franck Ribery, Bayern Munich and Germany.
Forwards: Lionel Messi, Barcelona and Argentina; Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paris Saint-Germain and Sweden; Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid and Portugal.