Cristiano Ronaldo has been named the best player in the world for the second time after 2008 by carrying off the FIFA Ballon d’Or award, while German goalkeeper Nadine Angerer has claimed her first women’s prize. Jupp Heynckes, the former coach of Bayern Munich, and Germany’s women’s national team coach Silvia Neid have taken home the FIFA World Coach of the Year awards for men’s and women’s football respectively. The award winners, who were voted for by national team coaches and captains as well as by the international media representatives selected by FIFA and French football magazine France Football, were announced at the FIFA Ballon d’Or ceremony at the Kongresshaus in Zurich today (13 January 2014). The entire voting process was supervised and monitored by PricewaterhouseCoopers Switzerland (PwC).
The 90-minute show marked an emphatic start to 2014 when the focus – as it was during today’s event – will be on Brazil, with the FIFA World Cup™ kicking off there in six months’ time. Brazilian TV star Fernanda Lima and former Netherlands international Ruud Gullit guided the 1,100 guests and TV spectators in more than 180 countries through the show, which featured, amongst others, icons of Brazil’s record five World Cup-winning teams, namely Pelé (1958, 1962 and 1970), Amarildo (1962), Carlos Alberto (1970), Bebeto (1994), Cafu (1994 and 2002) and Ronaldo (1994 and 2002) as well as current superstar Neymar, who in July will be hoping to help secure the Seleçao’s sixth but more importantly first FIFA World Cup title on home soil. Brazilian supermodel Adriana Lima and Swiss-Brazilian rhythm & soul singer Marc Sway provided an additional glimpse of what fans can expect in Brazil 150 days from now. Read More