13 Jan 2015

Ronaldo wins footballer of the year award

9:31 am on 13 January 2015

The Real Madrid and Portugal forward Cristiano Ronaldo has been named the best footballer in the world for the second year in a row after a prolific, trophy-filled year with the Spanish club.

Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo in action.

Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo in action. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The 29-year-old won FIFA's Ballon d'Or award by getting more than 37 percent of the votes in an annual poll run jointly by the sport's governing body and the France Football magazine.

The Portuguese star finished well ahead of Argentina and Barcelona forward Lionel Messi, who won 15.76 per cent.

The votes are cast by the captains and coaches of each national team plus one journalist from each country.

Ronaldo is the fifth player to win the award three times after also claiming the title in 2009 and 2013.

"I would like to thank all of those who voted for me," the star player said as he accepted the trophy.

"It has been an incredible year. I would like to continue the work that I have done so far. I want to try to improve, to become better as each day goes by."

"I never thought that I would bring this trophy back home on three occasions and I want to win it again. I want to become one of the greatest players of all time," before bellowing "Sim" (yes) into the microphone.

Bayern Munich and Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer was marginally behind Messi in third, polling 15.72 percent in the annual poll.

Joachim Loew was voted Coach of the Year after leading Germany to the World Cup title in Brazil.

He finished ahead of Real Madrid's Carlo Ancelotti and Atletico Madrid's Diego Simeone in the poll.

Ronaldo netted 51 goals in 47 appearances last season as Real secured a record-extending 10th Champions League title and won the King's Cup.

His tally included 17 goals in the Champions League, a record for a single edition of a Europe's elite club competition

Since then, he has added the Club World Cup title to his collection, has scored a stunning 26 goals in 17 La Liga matches and looks set to looks set to smash the biggest total for a season in Spain's top flight of 50 scored by Messi in 2011-12.

All that was enough to overlook a disappointing World Cup where Portugal went out in the first round and Ronaldo mustered only one goal.

However, he still became Portugal's all-time leading scorer and his goal haul for his country stands at 52 in 117 appearances.

Messi, by contrast, inspired Argentina as they reached the World Cup final, where they lost to Neuer's Germany.

Ronaldo first won the award in 2008, when it was run solely by FIFA, and he finished ahead of Messi.

Messi won the award four times in a row from 2009 to 2012, with Ronaldo finishing as runner-up on three occasions, before the Real star reversed the trend last year.

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