Cristiano Ronaldo named FIFA player of 2008
Football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo on Monday was crowned FIFA‘s world player of the year, the first footballer from the Premier League to receive the honor.
The 23-year-old Manchester United and Portugal winger was the favorite to win the award for 2008 after helping Manchester United win both the Premier League and European Champions League titles.
Ronaldo, who inherited the prize from Kaka, finished ahead of runner-up Lionel Messi of Barcelona and Liverpool’s Spanish striker Fernando Torres in third place to take the award at an extravagant gala in Zurich, Switzerland.
“This is the climax of a fantastic era for me. I’m happy and proud about what has been done by my team and what we have won,” Ronaldo said.
“I am lucky to be part of the history of a club like Manchester United.”
The FIFA award is voted by the national team coaches and captains of the 208-member associations of world football’s governing body. Ronaldo gathered 935 total points, ahead of 678 for Messi and 203 for Torres.
In the women’s category, Brazilian sensation Marta was named the FIFA women’s player of the year for the third successive campaign.