Cristiano Ronaldo with a total tally of 69 goals, is FIFA’s best player of the year 2013. The vote count had Ronaldo with 1,365, Messi of Argentia 1,205 and Frank Ribery of France 1,127. Infamous for his theatricals on the field, but a fabulous footballer never-the-less, Cristiano Ranoldo won the coveted Ballo d’ Or after a lapse of five years. He edged out his closest rival the Argentinian living legend Lionel Messi who has won the last four awards in succession. Last year in an epic battle of football, Ronaldo’s hat-trick, was instrumental for Portugal in qualifying for the Football World Cup 2014, to be held in Brazil.
Ronaldo the youngest member of a very poor Portuguese family was given the middle name Ronaldo by his father, a great fan of Ronald Reagan the actor, who later on became a U.S. president.
It is widely reported in the media that neither Ronaldo nor Messi, voted for each other. Their bitter football rivalry is commonly known in the world of football and often debated in the media. Messi plays for Barcelona FC, while Ronaldo is the main player for Real Madrid FC. Both these teams are giants of the Spanish football, each year vying for the prestigious La Liga championship.This rivalry of the titans of world football would be at full display during the World Cup 2014 in Brazil.
The voting for this year’s award was extended after Ronaldo’s outstanding performance against Sweden. The sports pundits held the view that even if Ronaldo won the coveted prize, he would not attend the ceremony because of his open differences with the head of FIFA, Sepp Blatter. Ronaldo proved the pundits wrong as he did attend the ceremony and received the award from the all time great Pele.
After receiving the prize Ronaldo with tears in his eyes thanked his fans for believing in him and his abilities, when some years back he was plagued with nagging injuries that, according to some of his critics, heralded the end of his playing career.
Besides his speed, agility, dribbling ability, accurate one to one passing and his clinical finishes on set-pieces, Ronaldo is a power house of modern football. After Sir Alex Ferguson signed him to play for the Red Devil, the popular name of the Manchaster FC, England, Ronaldo never looked back. He was the pivotal member of Manchester United FC team that won the Barclay’s Primeir League. He was often the target of scathing criticism for his tactical diving in the scoring area, on more than one occasion earning him a yellow card but sometimes a precious a penalty kick as well.
Ronaldo finally moved from Manchester United FC and with a record signing at that time became a player for Real Madrid FC in Spain. Though, he won many accolades playing for Manchester United FC, but it was always apparent that he was not at home in the English surroundings. The biggest obstacle for him blending in the English surroundings of the Barclay’s Premier League was language. Now in Spain playing for Real Madrid FC, he is more at home because he conveniently converses in Spanish and the culture of Portugal (his home country) and of Spain is also similar in many respects.
The football fans all over the world are avidly waiting to see FIFA’s footballer of the year 2013 play in the World Cup in Brazil.
By Iftikhar Tariq Khanzada