Cristiano Ronaldo wins FIFA best player award for 2nd time, ends Lionel Messi's 4-year reign

FIFA President Sepp Blatter delivers a speech at the FIFA Ballon d'Or Gala 2013 at the Kongresshaus in Zurich, Switzerland, Monday, Jan. 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Keystone, Steffen Schmidt)

ZURICH - Cristiano Ronaldo has won the FIFA Ballon d'Or award for 2013, ending Lionel Messi's four-year run as the world's best player.

Ronaldo scored 69 goals for Real Madrid and Portugal last year, and his stunning hat trick against Sweden in a decisive World Cup playoff was perhaps the defining individual performance.

Ronaldo was sobbing in tears as he accepted the award with his son beside him, saying "there are no words to describe this moment."

He defeated Barcelona's Messi and France winger Franck Ribery, who helped Bayern Munich to a sweep of major titles.

Voting was done by national team captains and coaches, plus selected journalists, in FIFA's 209 member countries.


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