FIFA awards Cristiano Ronaldo prestigious Ballon d′Or prize | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 13.01.2014
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FIFA awards Cristiano Ronaldo prestigious Ballon d'Or prize

FIFA has named Cristiano Ronaldo as the world's best football player of the year. Germany took home three prizes, with Jupp Heynckes and Silvia Neid winning best coaches and Nadine Angerer, best female player.

At its annual Ballon d'Or gala in Zurich, FIFA named Portuguese attacker Cristiano Ronaldo world's best soccer player for the 2012/2013 season. He was voted in ahead of Franck Ribery of Bayern Munich and Barcelona's Argentine superstar Lionel Messi, who was shortlisted to pick up the award for a fifth year in succession.

"Thank you to everyone, my teammates, the national team and my family, to everyone here," an emotional Ronaldo said.

"There are no words to describe this moment," he added.

Ronaldo last won the FIFA World Player award in 2008.

Frenchman Franck Ribery had been the favorite to win on Monday, following his role in leading the German Bundesliga side Bayern Munich to league, domestic cup and Champions League titles in the 2012/2013 season. He was also named UEFA's player of the season for 2012/2013.

Argentine forward Lionel Messi had also made the shortlist. The Barcelona player had previously won FIFA's prestigious Ballon d'Or prize an unprecedented four years in a row.

Three wins for Germany

Jupp Heynckes, Bayern Munich's coach during the previous season, took the FIFA World Coach of the Year award after leading his team to the treble.

Fellow German tactician, current women's national team coach Silvia Neid, won her second women's coaching award. She thanked FIFA for the "recognition for all of German women's football."

On the pitch in the women's game, Germany goalkeeper and captain Nadine Angerer - the current European player of the year - beat out Brazil's Marta and Abby Wambach from the US national team.

kms/msh (AP, AFP, Reuters, dpa)

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