C. Ronaldo nets top FIFA award

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Cristiano Ronaldo was named as FIFA World Player of the Year for 2008 on Monday, and although he insisted he will strive to recapture his top form, the Portuguese star has warned it will be impossible to maintain the standards of last season.

The 23-year-old was in stunning form last term when he helped Manchester United to Premier League and European Cup success hitting 42 goals in the process, and after FIFA's annual poll of international team coaches and captains he has added the world governing body's prize to the prestigious Ballon d'Or which he has already received.

Ronaldo, who also won FIFA's Club World Cup with United in 2008, faced competition from fellow nominees Xavi Hernandez, Fernando Torres, Lionel Messi and Kaka.

Xavi and Torres were both instrumental in Spain's victory at Euro 2008, while Messi helped steer Argentina to Olympic gold at the Beijing Games. Kaka, last year's winner, has suffered an injury blighted year and missed out on claiming back to back titles after a disappointing year with Milan.

Ronaldo becomes the fist player from the Premier League to win the coveted title, which has so far only been awarded to players based at clubs in Italy or Spain; while Marta, Olympic silver medallist with Brazil, was later named the FIFA women's player of the year for the third successive time.

Despite last year's achievements the United winger has been criticised in some quarters for his form since, although he was a major factor in Sunday's thumping 3-0 Premier League win over Chelsea.

Explanations for his slow start to the 2008/09 season include summer surgery which delayed his involvement and the unsettling impact of Real Madrid's public pursuit of the midfielder.

However, Ronaldo claims the drop in his performance was inevitable after the brilliance of last season and he cited the likes of Kaka and Ronaldinho as superstars who have failed to maintain their genius for season after season.

''Tell me one player who had a great season for two, three, four years at the top level? It's impossible, you don't have anyone,'' he told Sky Sports News before the presentation.

''Last season I think I did brilliant but this season, in my opinion, I'm not bad, I've scored 10 goals up to now (he has nine in 23 matches), I've come in from injury and people are waiting (for me to get) better and better all the time.

''It is not easy but I know I feel in good form and I think Cristiano is coming better and better. If not this season, then next season I know I can do as well again.''


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He deserves it for his performances last year. He's not been the same player this season though :(

Maybe just maybe he's a one season player, sometimes you have an amazing season and are remembered for just that, but when you think about it even tho he's not performing like last year he is still doing well.

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Maybe just maybe he's a one season player, sometimes you have an amazing season and are remembered for just that, but when you think about it even tho he's not performing like last year he is still doing well.

Allow me to disagree on that Rappy.

It's not by receiving this prize (that he should have gotten last year too) and by what he did last season (few if none in the history of this sport have done such) that Cristiano Ronaldo will be remembered.

He's a class player, currently the best one. And his carrier hasn't started today, I still remember the first game he did on Sporting Clube de Portugal, when he was just a kid... First game he did on the top league and he scores, and more than that, he gets the public amazed by showing what he can do with a football.

Have you forgotten what he did before last season? Cause he was already a world class player...

Saying Cristiano Ronaldo is just a one season player couldn't be more far from the truth.

And by the way, I don't think you realized this, but his carrier, is just starting...

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  • 2 weeks later...
Russia boss Guus Hiddink, however, reckons the rest of the international game's coaches and captains were duped by the 23-year-old's flashy style and magazine-cover appearance.

"Cristiano Ronaldo is a good-looking footballer, he looks fit and, oh yes, his hair is always in place. But him winning the award is too much about glamour," Hiddink said in The Daily Mail.

Some have suggested that Lionel Messi could have pipped Ronaldo, due to his performances for Barcelona in the second half of the year and his success at the Olympics with Argentina last summer.

The Blaugrana sensation polled second in the award, though, while Fernando Torres took out third after a brilliant debut season with Liverpool.

But nor does Hiddink think either of these two young superstars deserved to be crowned the greatest player on the planet, for he believes Torres' skipper at Anfield should have got the nod.

"I very much preferred (Steven) Gerrard. He has superb technical and tactical qualities and I admire his spirit and attitude on the pitch," the Dutchman said.

"It has everything to do with his passion for the game and my passion for football. He is a player who fans can identify themselves with and a man who carries the love for his club on his club badge.

"There is not another player in the world who combines all those qualities. He is the type of player who appeals so much more to me than Cristiano Ronaldo.

"Of course, Ronaldo entertains the crowds and has great skills. But it is too much glamour and show. Gerrard, Barcelona's Xavi and Messi are not as much focused on themselves. They focus on the team."


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