Cristiano Ronaldo wins Ballon d'Or 2014: Real Madrid star wins prestigious award ahead of Barcelona rival Lionel Messi and Manuel Neuer

Ronaldo says 2014 had been 'an unforgettable year' after winning award

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The Independent Football

Cristiano Ronaldo has been named the world's best player ahead of great rival Lionel Messi.

The Real Madrid superstar won the 2014 Ballon d'Or by a landslide ahead of the Barcelona and Argentina forward and Bayern Munich and Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.

Ronaldo, 29, retained the award he won last year making him a three-time winner; Messi had won the previous four years from 2009 to 2012.

The Portuguese star has had an unbelievable year in which he scored 61 goals for club and country, helping Real Madrid win La Decima - their 10th Champions League - and the Copa del Rey.

"It has been an unforgettable year and win a trophy of this kind is something unique," said Ronaldo.

"I want to continue working as I have so far to go on to win more titles as an individual and in a team.

"Of course this is something that is always with me. I want to become one of the greatest players of all time and this requires a lot of effort but I hope to get there."

It has been revealed that Ronaldo won 37.66 per cent of the total votes, ahead of Messi in second who won 15.76 per cent.

The Barcelona man just shaded Manuel Neuer, who had 15.72. Arjen Robben was fourth with 7.17 per cent.



11 February - Getting straight back to record-breaking business after clinching his second Ballon d'Or a month earlier, Ronaldo surpassed Luis Aragones' achievements in the history of Copa del Rey games between Real and Atletico Madrid by scoring a brace against the Rojiblancos. Aragones had scored five goals for Atleti but his record had remained unchallenged since the 1970s. More intriguingly Ronaldo's first goal in the derby, a penalty in the seventh minute, meant the Portuguese had scored in every possible minute of a 90-minute game.

24 May - Ronaldo had been conspicuous by his absence from the scoresheet but it looked like Real had managed to do enough to thwart city rivals Atletico at the end of a dramatic Champions League final in Lisbon. However, he would make his mark in the 121st minute of play, scoring the penalty that made it 4-1 and rubber-stamped 'La Decima'. It was also his 17th goal in that season's tournament, a new record.

25 October - An opening goal against title rivals Barcelona was Ronaldo's 15th in his last seven league games and broke a Real record set by Hungary great Ferenc Puskas in both the 1959-60 and 1960-61 campaigns. Puskas had scored 13 times through seven consecutive league games.

6 December - Ronaldo's 23rd hat-trick in Real colours, this time plundered at the expense of Celta Vigo, was not only a Primera Division record but meant the Portuguese had become the fastest player in La Liga history to score 200 goals.

20 December - His Barcelona rival Lionel Messi might have beaten him to the title of all-time Champions League goalscorer, but Ronaldo was hardly complaining when his 72nd Champions League goal - scored in a 4-0 thumping of Ludogorets - boosted him beyond Real stalwart Raul's previous competition record. He is three goals behind Messi, but now only one Ballon d'Or behind the Argentinian.



Ballon d'Or: Cristiano Ronaldo

Women's world player of the year: Nadine Kessler

Puskas award: James Rodriguez

World coach of the year for men's football: Joachim Low

World coach of the year for women's football: Ralf Kellermann

World XI: Neuer; Lahm, Ramos, David Luiz, Thiago Silva; Di Maria, Iniesta, Kroos; Messi, Ronaldo, Robben

FIFA presidential award: Hiroshi Kagawa

FIFA fair play award: Fifa volunteers

Additional reporting from PA