Cristiano Ronaldo wins Ballon d’Or over Lionel Messi and Manuel Neuer
The world's greatest football player
Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo has won the Ballon d'Or world footballer of the year award for the second year in a row. The Portugal captain managed to beat familiar competition from Barcelona forward Lionel Messi and Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer to scoop the award for the second year in a row and keep it out of the hands of former three time winner of the award Lionel Messi.
Cristiano Ronaldo held on to his world player of the year status convincingly with 37.66% of all votes. With an impressive score card from 2014 that reflects 52 goals in 43 games, the former Manchester United player convinced the panel of his position. He looked emotional when collecting the award from former France, Barcelona and Arsenal striker Thierry Henry.
Ronaldo said: "I would like to thank all of those who voted for me, my president, my coach and Real Madrid. It has been an unforgettable year. To win this trophy at the end of it is something incredibly unique."
Rivalry between Ronaldo and Messi has been ongoing. Messi beat out Ronaldo for the top honour in 2010, 2011 and 2012 until Ronaldo pushed Messi into the runner-up slot in 2013 and 2014 to win the award.
The Ballon d'Or is an annual association football award given by FIFA to the male player considered to have performed the best in the previous calendar year. It is awarded based on the votes from national team coaches and captains, as well as journalists from around the world.