Cristiano Ronaldo was Honored yesterday with the Ballon d'Or after a stunning year that saw him net an astonishing 69 goals in 59 games !
Voting was done by national team captains and coaches, plus selected journalists, in FIFA's 209 member countries who chose their top 3 preferences.
In a tight race, Ronaldo received 1,365 points, Messi had 1,205 and Ribery got 1,127.
The super star Pele, after a silent pause and smile, read out Ronaldo's name. Madrid star rolled back his head and closed his eyes, grinning, then kissed his girlfriend, before going up to the stage.
"People who know me know how many people helped me," the emotional winner said in Portuguese. "If I have forgotten anyone, I do apologize because I am deeply moved."
Pele greeted Ronaldo minutes after he cried on stage when collecting an honorary Ballon d'Or for his own outstanding career. Pele finally received a Ballon d'Or which he could never get during his career when the original prize created by France Football magazine was restricted to European players.
"I promised my family I would not cry but I am emotional," Pele said. "Thank God, I complete my trophies at home."