Zurich, Jan 13: Cristiano Ronaldo, the Portugal International has been voted the best player in the world for 2014, with Lionel Messi second and Manuel Neuer coming third. The award was held on Monday (Jan 12) in Zurich, Switzerland.
Real Madrid attacker Ronaldo has won this prestigious individual award for the third time in his career ahead of Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer and Barcelona forward Lionel Messi. Ronaldo enjoyed a hugely successful 2014, in which he guided Madrid to their 10th champions league glory by scoring a record 17 goals in one campaign, and earned 37.66 percent of the votes.
On an individual level, the 29-year-old won the Liga top scorer award by scoring 31 goals in 30 appearances, which also makes him crowned joint-winner of the European Golden Shoe along with Luis Suarez. Messi, meanwhile, made it to the podium for the seventh time in succession after he was crowned all-time top goalscorer of La Liga and the Champion League in 2014, and amassed 15.76 percent of the total vote.
"I want to thank my mother, my family. I would like to thank all those who voted for me, my coach, my fellow players, the president of the club," Ronaldo commented while collecting the award.
Bayern Munich goalkeeper Neuer missed out on the chance to become the first goalkeeper to win the award since Lev Yashin in 1963 after guiding Germany to the World Cup glory and winning the Bundesliga title with Bayern Munich. Neuer earned 15.72 percent of the vote.
Other awards which were handed out at the ceremony included Coach of the Year which was given to Germany's Joachim Low. The Puskas Award for the best goal for 2014 was awarded to Colombian international, James Rodriguez. Nadine Kessler of Germany won the FIFA Woman's World Player of the Year.
The award first started in 2010 and Lionel Messi went on to reclaim the prestigious title for the following two years. The 2013 Ballon d' Or was awarded to Cristiano Ronaldo, with Lionel Messi of Barcelona coming second and Frank Ribery of Bayern Munich coming in third position. As of 2014, Ronaldo is the most recent recipient of the FIFA Ballon d' Or, after beating Messi and Manuel Neuer to the award.