Cristiano Ronaldo bursts into tears after winning Ballon d'Or | inside World Soccer

Cristiano Ronaldo was overwhelmed with emotion after being named the winner of the 2013 FIFA Ballon d'Or at a ceremony in Zürich on Monday night.

Cristiano Ronaldo reacts after being awarded the FIFA Ballon d'Or 2013
Cristiano Ronaldo reacts after being awarded the FIFA Ballon d'Or 2013

Photo: Reuters

The Real Madrid star rolled back his head and closed his eyes, smiling, when Brazil great Pelé announced he had won. He kissed his girlfriend, Irina Shayk, before going up to collect the award.

Ronaldo was last recognised as the world's greatest footballer when he was awarded the now-defunct FIFA World Player of the Year in 2008.

However, Ronaldo has finally ended Lionel Messi's four-year domination of the honour, polling 1,365 points in the voting with the Argentine having 1,205 and Franck Ribéry 1,127.

Though Messi and Ribéry helped their clubs to silverware and Ronaldo did not, the Portuguese's individual performance last year was deemed to be superior.

The 28-year-old scored a staggering 69 goals in 59 matches during 2013 and his stunning display against Sweden in a decisive World Cup play-off was perhaps the defining individual performance.

Sobbing in tears with his young son beside him on stage, Ronaldo said: "I have no words to describe this moment.

"Thanks to all of my teammates at Real Madrid and the national team. Without all of their efforts this would not have been possible. I am very happy, it is very difficult to win this award.

"Everybody that has been involved with me on a personal level I have to thank. My girlfriend, my friends, my son who's also here - it's the first time he's seen his father receive the Ballon d'Or.

"This is a very emotional moment and I really can't say anything else."

Cristiano Ronaldo embraces his son after being awarded the FIFA Ballon d'Or 2013
Cristiano Ronaldo embraces his son after being awarded the FIFA Ballon d'Or 2013

Photo: Reuters

Messi had won the last four Ballon d'Or awards but missed out on the prize this year.

"I would like to congratulate Cristiano for winning. He derserves it," the Barcelona forward told reportes after the ceremony.

"I think it was a good year for the three of us and that's why we were there. I have nothing to complain about or make any excuses."

On Ronaldo's tearful reaction to being named the winner, Messi added: "I understand why he cried. He went up there with his son and I can see why he got emotional."

Ribéry helped Bayern Munich to an unprecedent treble of Champions League, Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal, but could only finish third in the vote.

"I am very disappointed for Franck," UEFA President Michel Platini told L'Équipe. "Next year we will return and it will be Messi-Ronaldo, in two years' time the same and three years' time ditto."

Ronaldo is now the sixth player in history to collect the accolade despite not winning a major trophy in the calendar year, joining the list that includes Sir Stanley Matthews, Denis Law, Kevin Keegan, Gerd Müller, and Luís Figo.


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