Down
enlarge
Cristiano Ronaldo awarded Ballon d'Or
0:48 | Planet Futbol
Cristiano Ronaldo awarded Ballon d'Or
Monday January 12th, 2015

Portugal and Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo has won the FIFA Ballon d'Or, honoring the world's player of the year.

Ronaldo took home the award for the second straight year. He also won in 2008, before FIFA merged its player of the year award with Ballon d'Or in 2010.

Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, who won the first three Ballon d'Or awards, and Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer were the other finalists. Neuer helped Germany win the 2014 World Cup.

BIRD: U.S. balances ambitions with January camp roster

Ronaldo scored 61 goals in 60 games last year, adding 22 assists. His 17 Champions League goals were a record and helped his club win another European title.

Messi played in in 66 total games last year, scoring 58 goals and recording 21 assists. He became the all-time leading scorer in La Liga and the UEFA Champions League. But Messi failed to bring home any trophies, with Argentina losing the World Cup final to Germany and Barcelona getting beat by Atletico Madrid in the Champions League quarterfinals and falling just short of Atleti in La Liga's standings.

• ​WAHL: Brazil star Marta talks turf, awards, World Cup hopes

Neuer allowed no goals in 55 percent of the matches in which he participated. He also helped Germany win the World Cup, keeping a clean sheet in four of the team's seven matches throughout the tournament, including a 1-0 win in the World Cup Final. 

No goalkeeper has won the award since FIFA created its award in 1991.

- Scooby Axson

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.