Zurich: Cristiano Ronaldo has been awarded the Ballon d'Or for a third time at a ceremony in Zurich.

The Real Madrid superstar topped a poll of journalists, international coaches and captains for the second year running and is now within one win of equalling rival Lionel Messi's four awards.

Barcelona's Messi and Germany's World Cup-winning goalkeeper Manuel Neuer were the other shortlisted nominees.

Ronaldo first won the Ballon d'Or in 2008, two years before it was merged with FIFA's World Player of the Year award to become the FIFA Ballon d'Or .

His latest success comes on the back of 12 months during which he scored 56 goals in 51 club games, among them a competition-record 17 in Real's Champions League-winning campaign.

All three contenders were voted by their peers into the 2014 FIFPro World XI, while Neuer's national manager Joachim Low won the Coach of the Year award ahead of Real boss Carlo Ancelotti and Diego Simeone of Spanish champions Atletico Madrid.

The award for women's coaches went to Ralf Kellermann, boss of Champions League winners Wolfsburg, whose captain Nadine Kessler added FIFA's Women's World Player of the Year trophy to the UEFA equivalent she won last year.

But Republic of Ireland women's striker Stephanie Roche missed out on the Puskas Trophy for the best goal of 2014.

Her ball juggle and volley for Peamount United was beaten to first place by James Rodriguez's volleyed World Cup goal for Colombia against Uruguay, with Robin van Persie third in the public vote for his diving header in Holland's 5-1 win over Spain at the finals.

 

Courtesy: Sky Sports