Cristiano Ronaldo, who beat Lionel Messi to the prestigious Ballon d’Or – following a poll of national football coaches, captains and journalists – has been talking about what the award means. The fact he received it from Pele added to the emotion of the occasion.
“He, Pele was a legend of football and to be mentioned next to him for the Ballon d’Or was an unbelievable feeling. I cannot expect a better night than this one even in my dreams,” Ronaldo told reporters.
Recently retired Jupp Heynckes was named Coach of the Year. The German guided Bayern Munich to an historic treble last season.
“I think that it is an award at the end of my career that is like a wonderful film script. I finished my career and there was the treble with Bayern Munich and then I am named Coach of the Year and then my last Bundesliga game was played in Moenchengladbach,” he reflected.
German goalkeeper Nadine Angerer – the hero of the national side’s 2013 Euro triumph – was named Woman Player of the year.
“I was really surprised and I still can’t believe it. I think it’ll take one or two days to realise what happened tonight and actually I’m really proud and thankful,” said the overwhelmed player.
Silvia Neld rounded off a treble for German football. The national team manager was named Woman Coach of the Year. The fair play accolade went to the Afghanistan Football Federation for the strides made in advancing the game in the war torn country.