Portugal and Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo was named the world’s best footballer for the second time on Monday, preventing his great rival Lionel Messi from winning the award for a fifth year in a row.
Argentine Messi, hampered by uncharacteristic injury problems at Barcelona late in the year, and Frenchman Franck Ribery of Bayern Munich were the other candidates for the prize, officially known as the FIFA Ballon d’Or.
“Thank you to everyone, my team mates, the national team and my family, to everyone here. Eusebio and Mandela were very important for me, I can’t speak,” an emotional Ronaldo said at the awards ceremony.
Jupp Heynckes, now retired, was named coach of the year for the first time after his Bayern Munich team won an unprecedented Champions League, Bundesliga and German Cup treble. By Reuters