Cristiano Ronaldo Wins FIFA World Player Award

Cristiano Ronaldo Wins FIFA World Player Award
Cristiano Ronaldo Wins FIFA World Player Award
Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal holds the FIFA World Player 2008 award during the FIFA World Player of the Year soccer awards ceremony in Zurich January 12, 2009. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann.

ZURICH (Reuters) - Manchester United and Portugal winger Cristiano Ronaldo was named FIFA World Player of the Year at a ceremony on Monday. Barcelona's Argentine forward Lionel Messi was second, with Liverpool and Spain striker Fernando Torres third. Spain midfielder Xavi Hernandez, also of Barcelona, and AC Milan's Brazilian playmaker Kaka completed the top five.

Ronaldo won the honor for the first time after helping United win the Premier League, Champions League and Club World Cup. It also completed a hat-trick of individual honors for the 23-year-old, who had already won the football journalists' Ballon d'Or trophy and the FIFPro World Player of the Year title voted for by his fellow professionals.

"It's an overwhelming moment, very special," said Ronaldo after receiving the FIFA award from Pele."I can say to my mother and sister, 'let the fireworks off now'. It's one of the most important moments in my life."


Ronaldo is the first player based at an English club to win the FIFA award, which had previously gone only to footballers playing for Spanish or Italian sides. "There may be no English players here but I believe it's important for England that myself and Fernando Torres are here representing two English clubs," said Ronaldo before the ceremony. "It is a victory for the English fans as well because the Premier League is strong, even though we must not forget the leagues in Spain and Italy remain strong as well." The FIFA award is voted by the national team coaches and captains of the 208-member associations of world soccer's governing body. Ronaldo was voted in first place by 136 of the coaches and captains while 76 put Messi top. The United player picked up 935 total points, ahead of 678 for Messi and 203 for Torres.


2008: Cristiano Ronaldo (POR) Manchester United
2007: Kaka (BRA) AC Milan
2006: Fabio Cannavaro (ITA) Real Madrid
2005: Ronaldinho (BRA) Barcelona
2004: Ronaldinho (BRA) Barcelona
2003: Zinedine Zidane (FRA) Real Madrid
2002: Ronaldo (BRA) Real Madrid
2001: Luis Figo (POR) Real Madrid
2000: Zinedine Zidane (FRA) Juventus
1999: Rivaldo (BRA) Barcelona
1998: Zinedine Zidane (FRA) Juventus
1997: Ronaldo (BRA) Inter Milan)
1996: Ronaldo (BRA) Barcelona
1995: George Weah (LBR) AC Milan
1994: Romario (BRA) Barcelona
1993: Roberto Baggio (ITA) Juventus
1992: Marco van Basten (NED) AC Milan
1991: Lothar Matthaus (GER) Bayern Munich
Cristiano Ronaldo Wins FIFA World Player Award
Cristiano Ronaldo Wins FIFA World Player Award 2.jpg
Cristiano Ronaldo Wins FIFA World Player Award


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