Monday, January 12, 2015

Ronaldo wins the Ballon D'Or again

Ronaldo wins the Ballon D'Or again.
CR7 beats Messi & Neuer to the title; James wins best goal and Jogi Low top coach.

Cristiano Ronaldo kept his title as the world's top player at the FIFA Ballon D'Or gala tonight.

The Real winger had a disappointing World Cup for Portugal but 31 La Liga goals, 17 Champions League strikes and the Champions League and World Club Cup trophies ensured he took home the award for the third time.

Lionel Messi came second and Manuel Neuer third. Ronaldo and Messi have occupied the top two places for four of the past five years and they have both featured in the top three for seven of the past eight years. Ronaldo has won two on the trot but with three wins is still one behind Messi.

Joachim Low's hard work in winning the World Cup for Germany saw him named Coach of the Year ahead of Carlo Ancelotti and Diego Simeone, and another Brazil 2014 hero James Rodriguez took the Puskas award for best goal for his wonder strike for Colombia against Uruguay.

James beat Robin Van Persie's diving header for Holland at the World Cup and Irish female international Stephanie Roche.

The World XI consisted of Manuel Neuer in goal, a back four of Philipp Lahm, Sergio Ramos, David Luiz and Thiago Silva, a midfield of Angel Di Maria, Toni Kroos and Andres Iniesta, and an attacking three of Ronaldo, Messi and Arjen Robben.

Germany's Nadine Kessler beat Marta and Abby Wambach to win the Women's Player of the Year Award. Kessler won the German league, Champions League and World Cup in 2014. Germany coach Ralf Kellermann won the women's coach of the year, capping a glorious night for the DFB.

The FIFA Presidential award went to 89 year-old Japanese football journalist Hiroshi Kagawa and the Fair Play award to FIFA's Volunteers, the unpaid army who staff every World Cup finals.

(c) Sean O'Conor & Soccerphile

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