Cristiano Ronaldo on Friday was named the best player of 2013 by World Soccer magazine after journalists from around the world voted in a poll. The Real Madrid forward was the clear winner, finishing ahead of both Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Bayern Munich’s Franck Ribery, who came second and third respectively.
As Spanish daily AS points out, the World Soccer award has indicated the eventual Ballon d’Or winner for the last 14 years, except in 2004, when Brazilian Ronaldinho won the World Soccer prize and Andrei Schevchenko took the Ballon d’Or, and in 2010, when Xavi took the World Soccer award and Messi took the FIFA Ballon d’Or.
However, it should be noted that before 2010, the Ballon d’Or was also known as the European Player of the Year award, and the World Player of the Year award was a separate prize handed out by FIFA. Soccer’s governing body then merged the Ballon d’Or and FIFA World Player of the Year awards in 2010; it has since been known as the FIFA Ballon d’Or.