Cristiano Ronaldo Takes Home Ballon d’Or

Cristiano Ronaldo finally dethroned his nemesis Lionel Messi by winning the FIFA Ballor d'Or award, given to the world's top player. Ronaldo beat out Messi and Franck Ribery.

Ronaldo last won the award in 2008, but Messi retained the award for the next four years. During three of those years, Ronaldo finished second. 

But Ronaldo was undeniably great in 2013, scoring 69 goals in 60 competitions, a blistering pace which almost single-handedly earned Portugal a spot in the 2014 World Cup, culminating with his incredible hat-trick against Sweden during the elimination round to clinch it. His nine goals during qualification set a new record, and he beat Messi's record for Champions League goals in a calendar year for good measure. 

The striker was emotional as he accepted the trophy from Pele, thanking his teammates and his coaches.