Top 15: Final FIFA Ballon d'Or rankings

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Ronaldo holds his second Ballon d'Or award.
Ronaldo holds his second Ballon d'Or award..

Cristiano Ronaldo was a well deserved winner of the 2013 FIFA Ballon d'Or award, beating the likes of Lionel Messi and Franck Ribery to the most prestigious individual accolade in world football.

The Real Madrid forward has been by far and away the best player on the planet over the past 12 months, and was the rightful recipient of the trophy following a stellar campaign at the Santiago Bernabeu.

The Portuguese international scored at a ratio of more than a goal per game, and became the quickest player in Real Madrid history to reach 200 goals for the Spanish club. He was rewarded for his fine form with a bumper new contract that will keep Ronaldo in the capital until he is 33 at least.

It was the second time that the 29-year-old has won the FIFA Ballon d'Or, having claimed the prize in 2008, during his days at Manchester United. His achievement also ends Messi's run of four awards in a row, three of which the Real Madrid star was named as runner-up.

Messi dropped below his usual high standards, but still claimed second spot after winning his sixth Primera Division title with Barcelona, though sadly it wasn't enough to secure a fifth consecutive trophy.

Meanwhile, third place went to Ribery, who played an instrumental role in Bayern Munich's all-conquering team that completed a domestic and European treble.

The German international added winners medals for the Bundesliga, German Cup, Champions League, Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup in 2013, but still he didn't receive individual recognition at FIFA's award ceremony in Zurich.

In the build up to the celebration last month, the three leading contenders dominated debate about who was the most worthy winner, but what about football's other leading players, who received some votes but not enough to be in contention.

Here GiveMeSport list the best of the rest contenders. Click through the tabs - above or below - to see the countdown from 15 to 4, as well as a nod to the top three talents in world football in 2013.

European News
Cristiano Ronaldo
Lionel Messi
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