Real Madrid and Portugal forward Cristiano Ronaldo has won the FIFA Ballon d'Or following a stellar year for club and country.
Ronaldo scored an incredible 69 goals for Real and Portugal throughout 2013, and has been rewarded ahead of Lionel Messi and Franck Ribery at Monday's awards ceremony in Zurich.
The former Manchester United man was last recognised as the best player on the planet when he was awarded the now-defunct FIFA World Player of the Year in 2008.
Since then, Ronaldo has played second fiddle to Messi, with the Barcelona star winning the final World Player of the Year prize in 2009 before then reeling off three straight Ballons d'Or after FIFA and France Football merged their awards in 2010.
Messi had to settle for second place on the podium this time around, however, while Bayern Munich winger Ribery finished third.
Ronaldo becomes the first player since compatriot Luis Figo in 2000 to collect the Ballon d'Or despite not winning a major trophy in the calendar year, with his defining moment of 2013 coming in his country's World Cup play-off against Sweden, when he scored all four goals in their 4-2 aggregate win over Sweden.
The Portuguese was joined on stage by his son after being presented with the prize, and an emotional Ronaldo paid tribute to his Real and international team-mates.
"First of all I have to say a great thanks to all of my team-mates with the club and the national team," he said.
"Without all of their efforts this would not have been possible. I am very happy, it is very difficult to win this award."
The 28-year-old becomes the first Portuguese player to win the prestigious award on two separate occasions, with countrymen Eusebio and Figo both collecting the trophy once each.
History does not bode well for Ronaldo, however, as no Ballon d'Or winner in a World Cup year has gone on to win the tournament.
In the voting, Ronaldo claimed 1,365 points, with Messi second with 1,205 and Ribery rounding off the top three with 1,127.
As captains of their countries, Ronaldo and Messi were allowed to vote for the award, but neither player named the other in the top three.
Argentina skipper Messi picked three of his Barcelona team-mates in Andres Iniesta, Xavi and Neymar, while Ronaldo opted for Radamel Falcao, Gareth Bale and Mesut Ozil.
Meanwhile, Germany goalkeeper Nadine Angerer took home the FIFA Women's Player of the Year, ahead of American Abby Wambach and Brazil's Marta.
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