Cristiano Ronaldo unveiled the Galaxy colorway of his Nike Mercurial Vapors at the end of last year and it was a visual reminder that the Real Madrid player was at the top of his game and playing out of this world. And Ronaldo was confirmed as the best player when he won the 2013 Ballon d’Or on Monday.
The 28-year-old narrowly beat out Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Bayern Munich’s Franck Ribery on the way to his second Ballon d’Or trophy. He won the award in 2008 with Manchester United before making his mega move to Real in 2009.
Despite not winning any team awards like Messi and Ribery accomplished, Ronaldo was an easy choice for the most prestigious individual award in soccer. The Nike player scored 69 goals and added 15 assists. He knocked in 8 hat tricks.
The most important goals of the year came in Portugal’s UEFA World Cup Qualifying playoff against Sweden and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the Puskas Award winner for the Goal of the Year. Ronaldo scored the lone goal in the first leg and then settled matters with a hat trick in the 3-2 second leg win to book a place in Brazil 2014.
Ronaldo broke down in tears while accepting the award from the great Pele. The forward was returning to the summit after frustratingly finishing 2nd to Messi in 2009, 2011 and 2012. He was joined on the stage by his son while his model girlfriend Irina Shayk watched from the audience.
In the other FIFA awards handed out on Monday, Germany’s Nadine Angerer was named the FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year. The German goalkeeper helped the side to their 6th successive European trophy saving 2 penalties in the final against Norway.
Jupp Heynckes helped Bayern Munich to a European treble with a Bundesliga title, German Cup trophy, and crowned by UEFA Champions League success and took home the FIFA World Coach of the Year for Men’s Football.
Ibrahimovic won the FIFA Puskas Award for the Goal of the Year.
And to cap off the ceremony, Pele received the FIFA Ballon d’Or Prix d’Honneur for the achievements during his career. The Ballon d’ Or originally only recognized European based players.