Ballon d'Or 2014: The Independent's readers vote Cristiano Ronaldo as the deserved winner ahead of Lionel Messi and Manuel Neuer

Our readers voted more than 1,000 times with Ronaldo winning a wide margin

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The Independent Football

On Monday, Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Manuel Neuer were named on the three-man shortlist for the Ballon d'Or 2014.

We asked readers who they thought was most deserving of the award, given to the most outstanding player in a calendar year.

In a little under 24 hours, more than 1,000 people voted on who they thought should win - and the Real Madrid superstar won by a landslide.

Ronaldo has enjoyed a stellar year in white, contributing 61 goals in just 37 matches in La Liga and the Champions League, helping Los Blancos complete La Decima - a 10th European Cup win in May - and start brilliantly in La Liga this season.

 

Ronaldo, who won the award last year, already has 20 goals this season, with Carlo Ancelotti's men top of the Spanish table.

Despite Portugal's poor showing at the World Cup, where Ronaldo's side finished with just one win against Ghana and were dominated by Germany, it was his brilliant performance in the play-off against Sweden - where he scored four goals in two games - that allowed Portugal to reach the tournament in Brazil.

In our poll, Ronaldo was selected a massive 51 per cent of th, with 543 of the 1,075 total votes going to the 29-year-old.

Ronaldo's great rival Lionel Messi was voted second by our readers. The Barcelona and Argentina maestro has broken multiple records this year, including becoming the top scorer in both Spanish league and Barcelona club history, but has suffered a bit of a down year compared to his usual lofty standars.

Barcelona went without a major trophy for the first time since 2006-07, while Messi scored 'only' 41 goals in all competitions, his lowest total in four years. However he did impress at the World Cup, leading Argentina to the final and picking up the player of the tournament award, though there was some controversy at his winning of it. Messi ended up receiving 30 per cent of the vote, with 326 total votes.

Manuel Neuer, somewhat surprisingly, garnered only 19 per cent of the vote, with 206 in total. The Bayern Munich and Germany goalkeeper is indisputably the best in the world and crucial to the way his club and country are able to play a high, pressing system with his superb skills as a sweeper-keeper.

Neuer played every minute of Germany's victorious World Cup campaign and helped Pep Guardiola's Bayern to a Budesliga and DFB-Pokal Cup double. So far this season undefeated Bayern have conceded just three goals in their 13 matches and have opened up a seven point gap over second-placed Wolfsburg.

The winners will be announced at a ceremony in Zurich on 12 January.

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