There was no surprise last night as Cristiano Ronaldo won the 2013 FIFA Ballon d’Or. If there was any surprise it was the closeness of the vote with Ronaldo polling 27.99% of the votes and just beating the other finalists Leo Messi with 24.72% and Franck Ribery with 23.36%. Barça have become accustomed to dominating the awards in recent years but despite not winning either of the major awards – Jupp Heynkes deservedly won the Coach of the Year award – the club still had the most representatives in the FIFPro best XI with Dani Alves, Xavi Hernández, Andrés Iniesta and Messi all making the team.
Many of you may disagree but I feel Ronaldo probably deserved the award this year. However, if anything, the vote this year has confirmed more than ever that Messi is still considered the world’s best player. In 2012 when Messi had no injury problems won the Ballon d’Or with 41.60% with Cristiano second on 23.68%. In 2013 Messi was only properly fit for the first three months but despite all his injury problems he still came very close to a fifth consecutive award. Hopefully, Messi will be inspired by not winning the award this year and if he can steer clear of injuries we can expect him to have a spectacular 2014. For the record the FIFPro best team of 2013 was Manuel Neuer, Philipp Lahm, Sergio Ramos, Thiago Silva, Dani Alves, Andrés Iniesta, Xavi, Franck Ribery, Cristiano Ronaldo, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Leo Messi.