Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo has retained the FIFA Ballon d’Or award after beating both Lionel Messi and Manuel Neuer to the prize on Monday evening.
The announcement came at the annual ceremony in Zurich, with Ronaldo crowned winner of the prize for the third time in his career. The Portuguese captain previously won the award in 2008 while with Manchester United, before breaking rival Messi’s four-year stranglehold on the prize last year for his exploits in Madrid.
Ronaldo has enjoyed a stellar year with his club, scoring an incredible 56 goals in 51 appearances for Los Blancos over the course of 2014. He was instrumental in Real’s trophy laden season last term, scoring in the final of the Champions League against local rivals Atletico Madrid to help seal their landmark 10th European crown.
No stranger to breaking records, Ronaldo hit 17 goals throughout their Champions League campaign last season and also celebrated a Spanish Cup win with his club in May. So far this season, Ronaldo has scored an astonishing 26 goals in 16 La Liga matches to put himself well ahead in the race for Spain’s Pichichi.
The 29-year-old also bagged five goals for Portugal in 2014, also participating in his country’s World Cup campaign in Brazil.