Cristiano Ronaldo Son FIFA Ballon d'Or
Cristiano Ronaldo embraces his son after winning the FIFA Ballon d'or for 2014Reuters

It was inevitable, it was expected, it was a "now I'm only one away from my biggest rival" day for that goalscoring machine who goes by the name of Cristiano Ronaldo. The Real Madrid superstar stole the headlines again by romping to his second straight FIFA Ballon d'Or, leaving his great adversary Lionel Messi well behind in the voting along with the third candidate in the shortlist – the one the neutrals wanted to win – Manuel Neuer.

Ronaldo had a ridiculous year in terms of club football, scoring oodles of goals and helping Real Madrid to the Copa Del Rey and Champions League titles.

Competing against Messi and Neuer, Ronaldo was far and away the clear winner, garnering 37.66 percent of the votes, with Messi and Neuer coming in second and third respectively with 15.76 percent and 15.72 percent of the votes, which were put in by 182 captains of their respective countries, 181 national team coaches and an equal number of members of the media.

"I never thought I would win this trophy on three occasions," Ronaldo said after receiving that golden glinting trophy.

"I want to be one of the greatest players of all time and of course this requires a lot of effort."

Ronaldo, who has won the coveted award in 2008 and last year, when he also beat Messi to the title, also thanked his teammates and family.

"I would like to thank my mother, to my father, who is in heaven and who is looking down on me, to my family," added Ronaldo.

"It has been an unforgettable year and to win a trophy of this importance is unimaginable."

Ronaldo will not look for more glory with Real Madrid this season – they are leading the La Liga at the moment and look well on course to defend their European title, something that has never been done before in the Champions League era.

If Ronaldo can lead Real Madrid to those titles again, then that fourth Ballon d'Or might just be a foregone conclusion.

Neuer might have been disappointed at not being given the huge individual honour after playing a major role in helping Germany to the World Cup title, but the man who helmed his country's immense triumph – Joachim Low – walked away with the coach of the year honours, beating out Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti and Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone.

Germans also took home the FIFA women's player of the year and women's coach of the year awards with Nadine Kessler winning the former and Ralf Kellerman taking the latter.

The FIFA Puskas Award for the most beautiful goal of the year went to James Rodriguez for that sumptuous strike on the volley in the World Cup for Colombia.

The FIFA FIFPro XI, while having the usual suspects did have a few eyebrow raising names as well, with the team being: Manuel Neuer; Philipp Lahm, David Luiz, Sergio Ramos, Thiago Silva; Angel Di Maria, Toni Kroos, Andres Iniesta; Arjen Robben, Lionel Messi Cristiano Ronaldo.

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