On Monday, FIFA awarded their biggest prize, the Ballon d’Or trophy. The 2013 award went to Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese international gave an emotional speech after hugging his son, who joined him on stage.
“First of all I have to say a great thanks to all of my team-mates with the club and the national team. Without all of their efforts this would not have been possible. I am very happy, it is very difficult to win this award,” Ronaldo said in his acceptance speech, via FIFA.com.
“Everybody that has been involved with me on a personal level I have to thank. 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.”
It is awarded to the best player from the previous calendar year, an important distinction because it is not based on a single season. The award was created in 2010 when France Football’s Ballon d’Or and the men’s FIFA World Player of the Year award were merged. Since its creation in 2010, only Lionel Messi has won. He also won the final men’s FIFA World Player of the Year award giving him a run of four straight trophies. Ronaldo has finished in second the past two years.
Ronaldo had another impressive season, including breaking the record for goals in the UEFA Champions League group stage. He became the first player to score nine goals in the six group stage games in the competition’s 22-year history.
While Ronaldo said he was more focused on his team and the World Cup than the the Ballon d’Or trophy, I’m sure he won’t mind putting this in his trophy case.
“Every year I have shown what I am,” Ronaldo told Portuguese TV. “I have scored 40 or 50 goals a season and that is not within the reach of everyone. I am not blinded by this [prize].”
“I did my work as I have been doing all this time,” Ronaldo said. “I do not have to respond to anyone. My answers I make on the pitch. I try always to give my best.”