Cristiano Ronaldo’s incredible year continued tonight as he became the fourth Manchester United player to win the European Footballer of the Year award.
The 23-year-old Ronaldo adds the Ballon d’Or award to the FIFPro World Player of the Year trophy he won in October, and the Professional Footballers Association and the Football Writers awards. He also becomes the first Premier League player to win since former Liverpool forward Michael Owen in 2001. He is the first Portuguese player to win since winger Luis Figo with Real Madrid in 2000, and the third after Eusebio in 1965.
Ronaldo dominated the poll results announced by France Football magazine, tallying 446 points. Barcelona striker Lionel Messi was second with 281 points and surprisingly Liverpool forward Fernando Torres came in third with 179 points.
“It’s one of the greatest days of my life. Winning this trophy … I dreamed about it as a kid,” Ronaldo told the magazine. “Those who know me, who live with me, know that this is finally a dream come true for me.”
The other Manchester United players to win the Ballon d’Or award were Denis Law in 1964, Bobby Charlton in 1966 and fellow United winger George Best in 1968.