Real Madrid FC star, Cristiano Ronaldo received the 2013 FIFA Ballon d’Or award with tears on Monday, January 13, 2014, at a gala in Zurich, Switzerland. His emotional breakdown was understandable. He was the second best world footballer for three years. On four occasions, Lionel Messi won the coveted award before he clinched the one for 2013, which makes it his second in five years.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s soccer exploit for club and country in 2013 alone earned him the prize for best footballer in the world. The year was good for him in his individual brilliance for club and being available for country when the chips were down are clearly noticeable.
Cristiano Ronaldo won the award with 1,365 points ahead of Lionel Messi’s 1,205 points and Frank Ribery’s 1,127. It was an honour the Real Madrid star clearly deserved after he scored 66 goals in 56 games for club and country. He was the highest goal scorer for club in the UEFA Champions League 2012/2013. That his country, Portugal was in the 2010 FIFA World Cup was in large part thanks to him who single-handedly qualified his country for the World Cup 2014 in Brazil. Portugal was on the verge of not making it to the world football showpiece and in a play-off with Sweden, he scored all the four goals that won the match in a two legged contest.
It was not just for his country that he shone like a million stars in 2013, Ronaldo became the first player in the history of Real Madrid to score 30 or more goals in three consecutive seasons. In 2013, he scored six hat tricks for club, Real Madrid and there are signs he is not slowing down with the performance he has already put up in 2014 as he attempts to spearhead the charge for Madrid’s trophy want in Europe and in Spain.
CRISTIANO RONALDO’S WEALTHY LIFESTYLE
The Real Madrid star is one of the richest footballers in the world. His earning for 2013 was put at $42.5 million and he just extended his contract with his club that will pay him $23 million every year until 2018 making him the world’s highest paid athlete.
Cristiano Ronaldo makes about $22 million annually from off field endorsements. His new contract with NIKE will earn him around $8 million in a year. He also has deals with companies like Castrol, Herbalife and Konami. If he decides to leave his current club, Madrid, the team that will sign him will have to pay $1 billion.
The 28 year old is in a relationship with Russian swimsuit model, Irina Skayk. They fly around the world most times together. In 2011, the superstar announced he had a son with an unidentified American. He said the baby’s mother (boy) wants to remain private. It was reported that after DNA result proved he is the father, his mother Dolares took custody of the baby named Ronaldo and the mother was paid $51.1 million to keep her identity private.
Cristiano Ronaldo has in his auto garage a $300,000 Lamborghini Aventador. The car he bought after he crashed his $320,000 Ferrari in Manchester. He also has a Bentley, Porsche and Mercedes cars. His residence in La Finca, an exclusive community in Madrid, is said to be worth $7 million.
The footballer also makes money from modelling. He has modelled for Armani and presently he did a job for Jacob and Co. Watches, the company that made the world’s most expansive watch ($150,000). Recently, the former Manchester United star launched his underwear line.
BRIEF HISTORY OF BALLON D’OR
The Ballon d’Or, meaning Golden Ball, was conceived in 1956 by France football magazine chief editor, Gabriel Hanot who asked his colleagues to vote for their best European player in 1956. At inception, journalists could only vote for Europeans playing in Europe but the rule changed in 1995 which gave room for players from other continents to win the award as long as they played for European clubs.
– FOLUSO SAMUEL