By Tosin Omojola
After playing second fiddle to Argentina and Barcelona star Lionel Messi for four years, Portuguese and Real Madrid talisman Cristiano Ronaldo has been named the best player in the world for the second time after 2008.
He grabbed the 2013 FIFA Ballon d’Or award on Monday night.
The 90-minute show, which marked an emphatic start to 2014 football season, was held at the Kongresshaus in Zurich, Switzerland.
184 national team coaches, 184 national team captains and 173 media representatives voted for the FIFA Ballon d’Or award.
Former Manchester United forward Ronaldo won the title with 1,365 points, ahead of Lionel Messi who polled 1,205 points, and Franck Ribéry of France and Bayern Munich with 1,127 points.
Messi, 26, had won the award in the last four years, beating Ronaldo on all those occasions. However Ronaldo had been viewed as the frontrunner ahead of this year’s showpiece after scoring 66 goals in 56 games in 2013 for his club Real Madrid and country.
Although Ronaldo did not win any major title last season, he has found it difficult to stop scoring goals.
The 28-year-old has already banged in 20 La Liga goals this season for Real Madrid and netted a record nine times in the Champions League group stage.
His impressive goal scoring acts included a sensational hat-trick against Sweden in their World Cup qualifying play-off second leg, which sealed a place for Portugal in the finals in Brazil.
Beaming with smiles, Ronaldo had this to say after he was announced the world best footballer: “First of all, I have to say a great thanks to all of my teammates with the club and the national team.
“Without 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.”