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