Cristiano Ronaldo has successfully defended his Ballon d’Or title, beating Lionel Messi and Manuel Neuer to the coveted award.
The 29-year-old was named best player in 2014 at the illustrious gala ceremony in Zurich on Monday evening.
His third Ballon d’Or title rounded off an almost perfect year for the Portuguese, after he won four club trophies and was already named UEFA Best Player in Europe.
The Portuguese guided Real Madrid to their famous 10th Champions League title – the La Decima – scoring a record-breaking 17 goals along the way.
He also helped his side to win the Copa del Rey, the European Super Cup as well as the FIFA Club World Cup, scoring 61 goals in 60 games for club and country.
Ronaldo beat Germany’s Manuel Neuer and Argentina’s Lionel Messi to the prestigious individual award, and became only the fifth player to win the award three times or more.
Johan Cruyff, Michel Platini and Marco van Basten all won the award thrice, and only Ronaldo’s long-standing rival, Lionel Messi, has won it four times so far.
Ronaldo previously won the award in 2008 and 2013, and he had been the clear favourite to win this year’s award prior to the announcement.
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