Cristiano Ronaldo was named the winner of the 2013 Ballon d’Or at the Kongresshaus in Zurich, Switzerland on Monday evening.
Real Madrid’s Ronaldo beat out four-time winner Lionel Messi from Barcelona, and Bayern Munich’s French midfielder Franck Ribery to receive the coveted prize.
Uefa president, Michel Platini said before the awards that this was “the toughest Ballon d’Or to call in the history of the trophy”.
Ronaldo, who previously won the Ballon d’Or in 2008, scored 69 times in 2013, in just 60 appearances in all competitions, and his hat-trick against Sweden in Portugal’s 3-2 win in the World Cup playoffs virtually ensured his country’s qualification for the World Cup Finals.
Ribery had a superb 2013, and was arguably the best player at Bayern Munich this past year, as Bayern won the Bundesliga, German Cup, UEFA Champions League and Super Cup, and the FIFA Club World Cup. In total he played in 45 competitive games for the club, and was part of a losing team just once, and winning team 41 times.
Messi, a four-time winner of the award, had an injury-filled 2013, but still managed to score 45 goals in all competitions, help Barcelona to the La Liga title, and helped Argentina qualify for the 2014 World Cup, while scoring the second-most goals of any player in the qualifiers.
Accepting the award, Ronaldo said, "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.
"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."
All the Awards:
FIFA Ballon d’Or: Cristiano Ronaldo
Men's Football Coach of the Year: Jupp Heynckes (former Bayern Munich coach)
The Fifa Puskas Award: Zlatan Ibrahimović (Sweden v England)
The FIFA Ballon d'OR Prix D'Honneur: Pele (Brazil)
Presidential Award: Jacques Rogge
Fair Play Award: Afghanistan Football Federation
Women’s Football World Player of the Year: Nadine Angerer (Germany)
Women’s Football Coach of the Year: Silvia Neid (Germany)
FIFPro World XI:
Goalkeeper: Manuel Neuer
Defenders: Phillip Lahm, Sergio Ramos, Thiago Silva and Dani Alves
Midfielders: Andres Iniesta, Xavi, Franck Ribery
Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Lionel Messi