Emotional Ronaldo ends Messi run

Mon Jan 13, 2014 4:11pm EST
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By Brian Homewood

ZURICH (Reuters) - Cristiano Ronaldo was overcome with emotion after being voted the world's best player for 2013 on Monday, ending his great rival Lionel Messi's dominance of the award.

Although he failed to win any major titles with Real Madrid last season, Ronaldo was rewarded for his immense goal-scoring prowess as he swept aside Messi, winner for the last four years, and Frenchman Franck Ribery.

"Thank you to everyone, my team mates, the national team and my family, to everyone here," the Portugal and Real Madrid forward said, choking with emotion after accepting the trophy.

"I can't speak," added Ronaldo, runner-up for three of the last four years, before breaking down.

Jupp Heynckes, now retired, was named coach of the year for the first time after leading Bayern Munich to an unprecedented Bundesliga, Cup and Champions League treble, a fitting end to a 48-year career as player and coach.

The Afghanistan Football Federation and fiery Sweden striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic were among other award winners.

Afghanistan was given the Fair Play award after staging its first home game for 10 years, a friendly against Pakistan.

Ibrahimovic won the Ferenc Puskas award for the best goal of the year, although his stunning overhead kick from near the touchline in a friendly against England was scored in 2012 and missed the deadline for last year's ceremony.   Continued...

Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo (L) gestures beside Pele after being awarded the FIFA Ballon d'Or 2013 in Zurich January 13, 2014. Portugal and Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo was named the world's best footballer for the second time on Monday, preventing his great rival Lionel Messi from winning the award for a fifth year in a row. REUTERS/Ruben Sprich