Ronaldo lands FIFA's top prize

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Cristiano Ronaldo became the first Premier League star to be named FIFA's world player of the year.

The Manchester United and Portugal winger beat AC Milan's Kaka, Liverpool's Fernando Torres and Barcelona's Lionel Messi and Xavi to take the award at a star-studded gala in Zurich.

Ronaldo said: "It's a dream come true for me to get this award and I would like to dedicate this to my family.

"But it's also true that the manager always has an important role to play. It was a great season for me and for my club, and the coach was important for me because I learned a lot for him.

"His experience over so many years is of paramount importance - it's a privilege to have such a great club manager.

"This is the climax of a fantastic era for me. I'm happy and proud about what has been done by my team and what we have won.

"I am lucky to to be part of the history of a club like Manchester United."

It caps a stunning year for the 23-year-old in which he played the starring role as United won the Premier League, Champions League and Club World Cup.

His 31 league goals in the 2008-09 season, and 42 in total, won him the European Golden Shoe as the continent's top scorer.

He was also awarded the Ballon d'Or by France Football magazine, and named FIFPro's player of the year.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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European News
Fernando Torres
Manchester United
Cristiano Ronaldo

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