Cristiano Ronaldo wins Ballon d'Or 2013

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Football News

Cristiano Ronaldo has been awarded the Ballon d'Or award for 2013, beating rivals Lionel Messi and Franck Ribery to football's top individual prize.

The Real Madrid star enjoyed a career-best 2013, scoring 66 goals and providing 15 assists in 56 games across the course of the calendar year.

The 28-year-old's prodigious output had been bettered by Barca superstar Lionel Messi in the previous four match-ups between the pairing, but the Madrid star was a cut above in 2013.

He single-handedly dragged Portugal to the World Cup, and was the main man yet again for Real Madrid.

That was more than enough to hand Ronaldo the prestigious title for the second time in his career, after he scooped the award in 2008.

Since then, Messi has won four - but after a season disrupted by injury, many felt Ronaldo's toughest challenge would come from Bayern Munich winger Franck Ribery.

The France international was the star player as Bayern won the Champions League, Bundesliga and the German Cup in a magnificent campaign.

Ribery chipped in with 22 goals and 18 assists, but his candidacy was less about sheer weight of numbers.

Many believed Ribery's importance to such a dominant club side gave him a realistic shout of bagging the award - in a similar manner to how Fabio Cannavaro won the prize in 2006.

But Ronaldo could not be stopped in 2013, and he could not be stopped here.

More interesting though, will be next year's award when a World Cup cycle comes into play.

But for the next 12 months, Ronaldo can rightly call himself the best player in the world. And you cannot say that is not deserved.

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Cristiano Ronaldo
Franck Ribery
Lionel Messi

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