FIFA had their annual awards ceremony today, including the presentation of the Ballon d’Or for the best male player of the year. This year, Cristiano Ronaldo won over Lionel Messi and Manuel Neuer.
Ronaldo was listed as the favorite to win the award but all three were worthy candidates. Neuer was instrumental on Bayern Munich and the German National Team and won the World Cup and Bundesliga titles. Neuer was facing an uphill climb because in the __ year history of the Ballon d’Or, only Lev Yashim of the Soviet Union won the Ballon d’Or as a goalkeeper in 1963.
Lionel Messi led Argentina to the World Cup Final and lost in stoppage time to Neuer’s Germany. By not winning a trophy and being injured for a sizable chunk of the year hurt Messi’s chances.
That leads to Cristiano Ronaldo. Ronaldo and Portugal struggled and failed to get out of the Group Stage in the World Cup, but he made up for that by winning the UEFA Champions League for Real Madrid. Over the year, Ronaldo was the most consistent of the entire year and since he wasn’t a goalkeeper, won the Ballon d’Or in stunning fashion.
There was more than the Ballon d’Or that was given away so here are the winners and nominees from today’s ceremony.
Cristiano Ronaldo – Portugal/Real Madrid 37.66% of vote
Lionel Messi – Argentina/Barcelona 15.76%
Manuel Neuer – Germany/Bayern Munich 15.72%
Women’s Player of the Year
Nadine Kessler – Germany/VfL Wolfsburg 17.52% of vote
Marta – Brazil/Tyreso FF and FC Rosengard 14.16%
Abby Wambach – United States/Western New York Flash 13.33%
FIFA Best XI
GK – Manuel Neuer – Germany/Bayern Munich
DF – Sergio Ramos – Spain/Real Madrid
DF – David Luiz – Brazil/PSG and Chelsea
DF – Thiago Silva – Brazil/PSG
DF – Philipp Lahm – Germany/Bayern Munich
MF – Andres Iniesta – Spain/Barcelona
MF – Toni Kroos – Germany/Bayern Munich and Real Madrid
MF – Angel di Maria – Argentina/Real Madrid and Manchester United
FW – Arjen Robben – Netherlands/Bayern Munich
FW – Lionel Messi – Argentina/Barcelona
FW – Cristiano Ronaldo – Portugal/Real Madrid
Men’s World Coach of the Year
Joachim Low – Germany 36.23% of vote
Carlo Ancelotti – Real Madrid 22.06%
Diego Simeone – Atletico Madrid 19.02%
Women’s World Coach of the Year
Ralf Kellermann – VfL Wolfsburg 17.06% of vote
Maren Meinert – Germany U-20 13.16%
Norio Sasaki – Japan 13.06%
Former player and journalist Hiroshi Kagawa from Japan won the FIFA Presidental Award for his lifetime contributions to soccer in Japan.
The FIFA Fair Play Award was awarded to FIFA volunteers who work at FIFA events.
James Rodriguez won the Puskas Award for this goal during the World Cup