Ronaldo wins Fifa Ballon d’Or 2013

Portugal v Sweden - FIFA 2014 World Cup Qualifier: Play-off First Leg
Real Madrid and Portugal superstar Cristiano Ronaldo has won the Fifa Ballon d’Or 2013 ahead of Lionel Messi (Barcelona and Argentina) and Franck Ribery (Bayern Munich and France).

The 28-year-old former Manchester United favourite scored an astonishing 66 goals in 56 games in 2013 – including all competitions, for club and country. But arguably the highlight of the calendar year came when he scored all four goals – including a stunning second-leg hat-trick – to earn Portugal a 4-2 aggregate play-off win against Sweden and place at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

The Estadio Santiago Bernabeu hero had finished runner-up three times in the past four years to Camp Nou icon Messi since winning both the Ballon D’Or and Fifa World Player of the Year in 2008, before the two trophies became one.

“First of all I have to say a great thanks to all of my team-mates with the club and the national team. Without all of their efforts this would not have been possible. I am very happy, it is very difficult to win this award,” he said, when presented with the accolade at a star-studded ceremony at the Zurich Kongresshaus.

“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.”

Elsewhere, Brazil superstar Pele, a three-time winner of the Fifa World Cup who scored 77 goals for his country, was presented with the Fifa Ballon d’Or Prix d’Honneur.

“I promised to my family that I would not cry, but I could not help it,” he said. “First I must thank God for the health to play for so many years. I was jealous of those guys getting the Ballon d’Or because I couldn’t win it because I didn’t play in Europe. Now I have my trophy.”

Jupp Heynckes held off competition from Sir Alex Ferguson (Manchester United) and Jurgen Klopp (Borussia Dortmund) to win the 2013 men’s world coach of the year award.

Last season he guided Bayern Munich to the Treble of the Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal and Champions League before retiring.

“I’m tremendously thankful to be here to pick up this award today. It means a lot to pick up an award right at the end of my career. Normally in team sports it is often difficult to put things together like this. It isn’t just down to me this is down to the whole club, Bayern Munich, everybody that has been working with me during this period,” he said.

Nadine Angerer of Germany was named the Fifa Women’s World Player of the Year ahead of Marta (Brazil) and Abby Wambach (USA).

She said: “You never get a success like this on your own. I have to thank my team-mates and my goalkeeping coach who raised me to a level that I never thought I’d get to. Also I have to thank the people in my private life, I have a great family who have been a great support to me over the years. My friends have also been very supportive to me. Thanks to everybody.”

The 2013 women’s world coach of the year went to Germany’s Silvia Neid, who said she was “blessed to work with talent I’ve worked with over the last 12 months”.

She added: “It is an incredible feeling to win this award there are a lot of people who have been working with me behind the scenes. The team have been incredible the players, the backroom staff. Without their contribution I wouldn’t be standing here today.”

Ronaldo is currently priced 12/1 in the ‘2014 World Cup – Leading Goalscorer’ market and Portugal are quoted 33/1 in the tournament outright winner betting.

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