Fifa had produced a very strong shortlist this year: Ronaldo, Barcelona’s Lionel Messi (winner on the last four occasions), and Franck Ribery of Bayern Munich. Despite this high quality opposition Ronaldo had been as short as 100 to 1 ON to win the award, and it’s not hard to see why.
Ronaldo scored an incredible 66 goals in 56 appearances for club and country during 2013, and picking up his second Ballon d’Or cements his place as one of the greatest players of all time. Just one week after the funeral of another Portuguese legend, Eusebio, the occasion seemed almost too much for Ronaldo.
“I have to say a great thanks to all of my team-mates, without all of their efforts all this would not have been possible”, he said. He then choked back tears as he thanked his wife and son.
Messi was magnanimous in defeat. Resplendent in a claret coloured dinner suit, the multiple winner admitted that the best player had won. The actual vote was closer than many had anticipated, Ronaldo claimed 1365 votes, Messi 1295 and Ribery 1137.
Once again, the supremacy of La Liga was confirmed – but will either of the two great man will secure the title this year or will Diego Simeone’s Atletico side prove the fly in the ointment?