There are few players who know more about being in the spotlight on the FIFA Ballon d’Or Gala stage than Cristiano Ronaldo. Yet, on hearing his name read out as the winner of the 2014 award, the Portuguese star was unable to control his emotions and had to take a moment or two to compose himself before making his acceptance speech.
Moments after taking receipt of the coveted trophy for the second year in a row, Ronaldo spoke to FIFA.com about his elation at being named the best player in the world in 2014.
“When you’re waiting to hear the name called, it’s a complicated moment,” the Real Madrid forward said, who top-scored in the Spanish league last season with 31 goals in 30 games. “You feel nervous. Regardless of this being my eighth time here, it’s always very emotional.
“I know how much hard work and effort goes into winning this award, and that’s why I still get emotional, no matter how many times I come here to receive it. I hope I’ll be doing so for many years to come,” added Ronaldo, who also set a new scoring record in the 2013/14 UEFA Champions League with 17 goals, helping his club to land it for the tenth time.
After winning the FIFA World Player of the Year award in 2008, when he was still a Manchester United player, Ronaldo took second place on the podium in 2009, 2011 and 2012. Now 29 and at the peak of his considerable powers, he has retained the Ballon d’Or courtesy of two magical seasons.
“Every season is a new challenge for me,” he added. “That’s how I have to look at things if I’m going to be successful. This Ballon d’Or caps a great season for me and it also gives me the motivation to start 2015 with the same ambition.”
As he himself pointed out in his speech at the Kongresshaus in Zurich, that ambition begins with winning another Ballon d’Or, which would bring him level with Lionel Messi on four. With the start of another year comes the start of another race to be the best, one in which Ronaldo is very likely to be involved