Cristiano Ronaldo wins FIFA's Ballon d'Or

Jan. 13, 2014 at 4:53 PM
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ZURICH, Switzerland, Jan. 13 (UPI) -- Cristiano Ronaldo, who had 69 goals in 59 games in 2013, has been voted the FIFA Ballon d'Or, the trophy given soccer's World Player of the Year.

Ronaldo finished ahead of Barcelona's Lionel Messi for the honor, totaling 1,365 points in the voting. Messi was second with 1,205 and Franck Ribery of Beyern Munich was third at 1,127.

Ronaldo scored 14 goals in the UEFA Champions League in leading Real Madrid to the semifinals of the high-profile European competition.

He had a hat trick in the game in which Portugal knocked Sweden out of contention for a spot in the 2014 World Cup. It was that late-November game that seemed to sway voters away from Messi and to Ronaldo.

"There are no words to describe this moment," Ronaldo said as he accepted the award Monday.

Ronaldo had finished second to Messi each of the last two years in FIFA Player of the Year voting. Messi also won the honor in 2010, the first year the Ballon d'Or was combined with FIFA Player of the Year Award.

Ronaldo won the FIFA-only award in 2008 but finished second to Messi the next year.

A total of 184 national team coaches, 184 national team captains and 173 representatives of the media voted on the FIFA men's award. A player receives five points for a first-place mention; three for being named second and one point for third.

German national team goalkeeper Nadine Angerer was selected the Women's Player of the Year with Abby Wamboach of the United States, who won the honor last year, second. Brazil's Marta, who took home the award five times previously, was third. A precise breakdown of the voting wasn't provided.

Bayern Munich Manager Jupp Heynckes, whose team won Bundesliga, Champions League, the German Cup, UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup titles, was the Coach of the Year.

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