Real Madrid striker Cristiano Ronaldo won the Ballon d’Or world footballer of the year award for the second year in succession. The Portugal captain beat Barcelona forward Lionel Messi and Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer to win the award.
Wolfsburg and Germany midfielder Nadine Kessler was named women’s player of the year, while Colombia’s James Rodriguez won goal of the year. Germany’s World Cup winner Joachim Low was named men’s coach of the year. Wolfsburg boss Ralf Kellermann won women’s football coach of the year after a successful defense of the Champions League.
The three candidates for the Ballon d’Or were all picked in the team of the year as well, along with defenders Philipp Lahm, surprising inclusion David Luiz, Thiago Silva and Sergio Ramos, midfielders Andres Iniesta, Toni Kroos and Angel Di Maria and forward Arjen Robben.
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Cristiano Ronaldo retains Ballon d’Or award beating Lionel Messi & Manuel Neuer
Cristiano Ronaldo successfully retained his world player of the year status easily with 37.66% of all votes, winning the highly coveted award for a third time. His Barcelona and Argentina rival Lionel Messi – who won four years in a row until Ronaldo beat him last year, was second on 15.76%. He was barely ahead of Bayern Munich and Germany keeper Manuel Neuer, who had 15.72% votes by 0.04%.
The Portuguese forward first won the Ballon d’Or in 2008, two years before it was combined with FIFA’s World Player of the Year award to become the FIFA Ballon d’Or. Ronaldo, who scored a remarkable 52 goals in 43 games during 2014, including a competition-record 17 in Real Madrid’s Champions League-winning campaign, got emotional while collecting the award from former France, Barcelona and Arsenal striker Thierry Henry. The 29-year-old said: “I would like to thank all of those who voted for me, my president, my coach and Real Madrid. It has been an unforgettable year. To win this trophy at the end of it is something incredibly unique. I want to try to improve, to become better as each day goes by. I never thought that I would bring this trophy back home on three occasions. I want to become one of the greatest players of all time.”
Puskas Award (goal of the year)
Colombia’s James Rodriguez , 23, won the FIFA goal of the year award for his sensational World Cup strike against Uruguay, beating Irishwoman Stephanie Roche. Roche, who scored a stunner for Peamount against Wexford in the Irish top flight, was hoping to be the first female winner of the Puskas Award. She secured 33% of the public votes to Rodriguez’s 42%. Manchester United striker Robin van Persie – the third nominee – got just 11% for his spectacular diving header against Spain in the World Cup.
FIFA/FIFPro World XI
The FIFA team of the year was voted for by over 20,000 professional footballers worldwide.