After months of unrelenting speculation, predictions and voting, the football federation has finally decided to award the inaugural FIFA Ballon d'Or to the most deserving player of 2013.
For the last several months players and fans alike have indulged themselves in the thrill and enthusiasm as they awaited the glamorous gala taking place in Zurich on 13 January. Finally to the great relief for us all, the countdown has finally come to a close.
As we usher the memories of 2013 and begin a new year with aspirations and optimism, the much-awaited Ballon dO'r ceremony has given us just one last opportunity to look back at the past.
January 13 will be remembered by us as all as the moment when history was made, hopes were crushed, tears glittered and spirits soared. It is indeed one of those defining moments of a year, the crowning of the kings whose echoes will resound forever throughout the annals of footballing history.
But when it comes to defining 2013, let us simply call it ‘Ronaldo’s year’, for it has truly been so. Tears sparkling in his eyes , his son’s hand in his, Cristiano Ronaldo at long last finally went on to lift his second Ballon dO'r as the audience roared in approval.
The Real Madrid star has displayed the epitome of footballing excellence throughout 2013 and had proven to be the breakthrough player of the year. After enduring four long years of sorrow, disappointment and fallen hopes, the Madrid star has finally gone on to hold the dream trophy he has once craved for with the world applauding on its feet in praise of the Portuguese’s genius.
After enjoying a stellar season at Real Madrid and relishing the successes at the international level too , the volatile winger has at long last earned the privilege to flex his aristocratic fingers around the trophy carved in gold.
In spite of Ronaldo enjoying some quite stellar seasons in recent years, it was Lionel Messi who got the cutting edge on every occasion and went on to triumph before the world. But after seeing his bitter rival from Catalonia lift the trophy for 4 years, the Madrid icon finally managed to emerge out of the Argentine’s shadows with a Ballon dO'r in his arms.
Scoring at an insane rate of more than a goal per game, the Portuguese star has transformed himself into a decisive goal-scoring machine combining his natural flair and lightning speed with his mesmerizing skills and bamboozling free-kicks. One of the hardest things for footballers to aim at these days is to remain consistent in performance, but when it comes to Ronaldo there is no denying that he had achieved it in fine fashion.
The man from Madrid has been certainly been one of the most consistent players of the year, and at many times it was he alone dragging his team forward. The Portuguese has bagged an exceptional tally of 69 goals from just 59 games and also boasts an ample lot of assists summing up to 17.
These astounding figures itself speaks on the behalf of the Portuguese star and given that the Ballon dO'r is an individual award, the numbers are one of the most influencing motivations that has tempted the world to vote for the Madrid star’s cause.
Recently becoming one of the five all-time top scorers for Real Madrid and hitting the new milestone of 400 goals in his career, the Magician of Madeira is tuning himself up for a new level of the game.
Cristiano’s outstanding contributions to Real Madrid and his heroics in Portugal’s World Cup qualifiers against Sweden were the defining moments that has shaped this great man’s road to glory. Many of his critics, looking to find excuses, may point out that he had not won any trophies, but we are to remind them once again that the Ballon dO'r is not an award of collective brilliance but of individual excellence.
As is its tradition and custom the FIFA Ballon dO'r gala has always a gorgeous ceremony on every occasion but this time around it was a spectacle in its own right.As football icons and fashion models started to walk up the red carpet hand in hand, so did Ronaldo.
Bathing in camera flashes the great Cristiano, for all his fame and name was none ordinary. Elegantly dressed in a gorgeous black and velvet suit, the Real Madrid star moved through crimson coloured carpet , giving autographs and taking photographs, completely unaware of what awaited him. The dazzling ceremony kicked off in spectacular fashion with the trademark gold and black hues mixing to produce a warm atmosphere for the audience, giving those honourable guests a once-in-lifetime experience to remember.
As the resounding voices of Raud Gullit and Fernandez Lima reverberated the auditorium, one of biggest names in soccer were called on to the stage for their outstanding contributions. Quite unsurprisingly Ibrahimovic went on to win the FIFA Puskas award and an elite team was assembled from 30 nominees in all categories. Various other awards were given out including the Coach of the Year won by Jupp Heyckens and the fair play award given to the Afghanistan Football Federation.
But preserved for the last and final slot of the ceremony was the awarding of the best player in men’s football. Perhaps nowhere is the term ‘last but not the least’ more applicable than it is here. It was the revealing the world had been waiting for, it was the moment the clock has been counting down, it was the second that every breath was held still, every was heart pounding hard.
And finally to shatter that awkward silence that has crept up, came Pele’s booming voice speaking out the name many had been expecting ‘Cristiano Ronaldo’. Facing his friends and family on the stage of honour, just as he was about to deliver his speech the Portuguese star broke down into tears - an indication enough to suggest how he really felt. Holding on to his emotions, Ronaldo mustered himself to stand steady and thank all those who have so generously voted in his favour and to those to have helped him to attain this prestigious laurel.
"First of all I have to say a great thanks to all of my team-mates with the club and the national team," he said. "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” he continued“. My wife, my friends, my son. It is a tremendously emotional moment. All I can say is thank you to everybody that has been involved."
Ronaldo who recently opened a museum for himself in Portugal had already prepared a special place for his second Ballon dO'r, so anyone wishing to have a view of the prestigious trophy could perhaps pay a visit there (now that he is the world’s best player).
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