FIFA World Best Player 2008: Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo beat off competition from Lionel Messi, Xavi, as well as Fernando Torres, and last year’s winner Kaka, to win the FIFA World Player of the Year Award with a total of 935 vote points. In second place was Barcelona star Lionel Messi with 678, while Liverpool striker Fernando Torres finished third with 203. AC Milan star Kaka was not far behind in fourth with 183, while Barcelona's Xavi ended up fifth with 155.

The number 7 of Manchester United was designated best football player of the year for 2008 by FIFA this Monday, the second athlete from the Sporting Clube de Portugal school in Lisbon, after Luís Figo, to win this prize. With 23 years and a long time to grow, Cristiano Ronaldo has the world at his feet. At 23 years of age, Cristiano Ronaldo won the Golden Boot with 42 goals scored in the last season for Manchester United, being Europe's best scorer and best player now the world. He also won the championship of the Premier League in England, and the Champions’ League. He followed this up this term by lifting the Club World Cup in Japan. "The last season for me was the best in the world. And he is a very intelligent player who decides games. When you think he’ll be on the left, then he appears on the right. When you expect him to kick from the left, then there’s a kick from the right."

Ronaldo caps off a clean sweep of the major awards, having also picked up the prestigious Ballon d'Or (European Footballer of the Year) at the end of 2008. The 23-year-old becomes the first English-based player to be named FIFA World Player of the Year, and only the second Portuguese, following in the footsteps of Luis Figo, who triumphed in 2001.

There is no question as to who was the most effective footballer of 2008; like him or not, Cristiano Ronaldo had an on-field effect quite unlike anybody else in the calendar year. The 23-year-old inspired his club side to the Premier League title, Champions League and World Championship and picked up all the individual trinkets and accolades along the way. An exceptional 42 goals in the 2007-08 season stood Ronaldo in phenomenal stead and some murmurs even suggested that the Portuguese forward had overtaken George Best in the affections of the United faithful.

Despite his success and talent, a player of his calibre has never cut such a polemic figure. His detractors often overlook or undersell his achievements and instead point to his posturing, diving, complaining and selfishness as indicators of an overinflated ego and a delusional halfwit foolish enough to believe his own hype, and then some.

The truth probably lies somewhere in between, but our team have given their perception of the best and worst that could come from his winning of yet another award: the FIFA World Player of the Year.

(source:, etc.)


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