Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo captured his second straight Ballon d’Or Award as he was named the best footballer in the world for 2014 at a ceremony in Zurich, Switzerland on Jan. 12th. The 29-year-old captain of Portugal has now captured the trophy three times during his career as he also took it home with him in 2008 when he helped Manchester United win the European Champions League.
The other two finalists were German international goaltender Manuel Neuer and Argentine international forward Lionel Messi. Neuer plays his club football with Bayern Munich of the German Bundesliga while Messi plays with Spanish La Liga giants Barcelona. The voting for the award was carried out by 209 national team coaches and captains and several journalists.
Ronaldo helped Real Madrid win the Spanish Cop Del Rey last year as well as the European Champions League title. He scored a total of 61 goals for Real Madrid and Portugal, but his side didn’t have much success in the 2014 World Cup down in Brazil as Portugal didn’t make it past the group stage. Ronaldo received 37.66 per cent of possible votes while Messi came in second at 15.76 percent and Neuer garnered 15.72 per cent of the votes. However, Messi did manage to win the trophy four straight years from 2009 to 2012. Ronaldo is now the seventh player to win the award in successive seasons.
The FIFPro World XI 2014 was also announced at the ceremony with the following being the team:
Goaltender Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich/Germany), Defender Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich/Germany), Defender Thiago Silva (Paris Saint-Germain/Brazil), Defender David Luiz (Chelsea/Paris Saint-Germain/Brazil), Defender Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid/Spain), Midfielder Angel Di Maria (Real Madrid/Manchester United/Argentina), Midfielder Toni Kroos (Bayern Munich/Real Madrid/Germany), Midfielder Andres Iniesta (Barcelona/Spain), Forward Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid/Portugal), Forward Lionel Messi (Barcelona/Argentina), and Forward Arjen Robben (Bayern Munich/Netherlands).