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).

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
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

Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness
Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

Homeless Veterans appeal

Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Pot of gold: tasting the world’s most expensive tea

Pot of gold

Tasting the world’s most expensive tea
10 best wildlife-watching experiences: From hen harriers to porpoises

From hen harriers to porpoises: 10 best wildlife-watching experiences

While many of Britain's birds have flown south for the winter, it's still a great time to get outside for a spot of twitching
Nick Easter: 'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

Nick Easter targeting World Cup place after England recall
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore