Ronaldo wins third Ballon d'Or
Ronaldo wins third Ballon d'Or

Cristiano Ronaldo was crowned the world's best player for the third time in his career at the Ballon d'Or ceremony in Zurich, Switzerland. Ronaldo beat Lionel Messi and Manuel Neuer to the award.

2014 was an excellent year for the Portuguese star and his Real Madrid team. They won the Copa del Rey beating Barcelona in the Final but the highlight was undoubtedly their victory over Atletico Madrid in the Champions League Final. Ronaldo scored a late penalty in that game to put the seal on the win capping a fantastic season for the man from Madeira.

In 43 appearances throughout 2014 Ronaldo scored an amazing 52 goals, including 31 in 30 La Liga games as well as breaking the all-time record for goals in a Champions League campaign with 17. Ronaldo appears to be getting better with age and nobody would rule him out of equalling Messi's tally of four next season.

Other winners at the FIFA gala included Ronaldo's Real Madrid team-mate, James Rodriguez who won the Ferenc Puskas award for goal of the year with his volley in last summer's World Cup.

In other awards, Germany's World Cup winning coach, Joachim Low was named Coach of the Year and another German, Nadine Kessler won the Women's World Player of the Year.

The 2014 FIFPRO World XI was also announced and was as follows.

Neuer; Ramos, Silva, Luiz, Lahm; Iniesta, Kroos, Di Maria; Messi, Ronaldo, Robben.