Fifa Ballon d'Or: Cristiano Ronaldo closes in on award ahead of Franck Ribery and Lionel Messi after voting is extended

Voting system changed on the same night the Portugal forward scored sublime hat-trick against Sweden

Cristiano Ronaldo’s chances of winning the Fifa Ballon d’Or have been greatly improved.

On the same night he scored a stunning hat-trick to fire Portugal through to the World Cup finals in Brazil, Fifa have confirmed that the voting procedure for the award has been extended until 29 November – the previous deadline had passed last week – and there is also now the option to revise your decision.

“Due to a low number of responses from coaches and captains of the national teams as well as media representatives and in order to ensure a representative number of votes for the Fifa Ballon d’Or, the Fifa's Women's Player of the Year, the Fifa Coach of the Year and the Fifa's Women's Coach of the Year Fifa and France Football extended the deadline for the voting until 29 November 2013," said a Fifa spokesperson.

Further reading...

Have Fifa played down Cristiano Ronaldo's 2013 achievements?

Cristiano Ronaldo museum being built in Portugal

Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, who has won the award for the past four seasons is sidelined with a hamstring injury until the end of the year, and Bayern Munich winger Franck Ribery are considered the 28-year-old’s main rivals for the trophy. But after this latest development Ronaldo is now the clear favourite with bookmakers.

Ronaldo, who won the award in 2008, has been in imperious form this year, scoring a total of 66 goals for club and country, 21 more than any other player.

Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after his hat-trick takes Portugal to the World Cup Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after his hat-trick takes Portugal to the World Cup It had been reported the Real Madrid forward was not even going to attend the ceremony, which will be held in Zurich on 13 January 2014, due to his fractured relationship with Fifa president Sepp Blatter, but this latest development will go a long way in both improving matters, and Ronaldo’s chances of winning.

His former team-mate at Manchester United, Rio Ferdinand, was in no doubt who has been the best player in the world this year, tweeting: “Cristiano is at it again. The Ballon d'Or has to be handed over now!”

The Ballon d’Or shortlist:

Gareth Bale (Real Madrid/Wales), Edinson Cavani (Paris St-Germain/Uruguay), Radamel Falcao (Monaco/Colombia), Eden Hazard (Chelsea/Belgium), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Paris St-Germain/Sweden), Andrés Iniesta (Barcelona/Spain), Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich/Germany), Robert Lewandowski (Borussia Dortmund/Poland), Lionel Messi (Barcelona/Argentina), Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich/Germany), Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich/Germany), Neymar (Barcelona/Brazil), Mesut Özil (Arsenal/Germany), Andrea Pirlo (Juventus/Italy), Franck Ribéry (Bayern Munich/France), Arjen Robben (Bayern Munich/Holland), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid/Portugal), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich/Germany), Luis Suárez (Liverpool/Uruguay), Thiago Silva (Paris St-Germain/Brazil), Yaya Touré (Manchester City/Ivory Coast), Robin van Persie (Manchester United/Holland), Xavi (Barcelona/Spain).

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence