Ronaldo wins Ballon d'Or

Image: Ronaldo: Ballon d'Or winner

Cristiano Ronaldo has won the 2008 Ballon d'Or award ahead of Lionel Messi and Fernando Torres.

United winger lands 2008 award

Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo has won the 2008 Ballon d'Or award ahead of Lionel Messi and Fernando Torres. Ronaldo was the clear favourite to land the prestigious prize after a remarkable year at Old Trafford. The powerful attacker netted 42 goals last season as the Red Devils claimed Premier League and UEFA Champions League glory. His summer was overshadowed by Real Madrid's courting of the 23-year-old, while he missed the start of the new term with an ankle injury. But Ronaldo has demonstrated his impressive ability in recent weeks, netting nine times since September. Ronaldo finished runner-up to Brazilian forward Kaka in 2007 and overcame strong competition this time around from Barcelona playmaker Messi - who finished second - and third placed Liverpool star Torres. He is already FIFPro World Player of the Year and also took the top prizes from the Professional Footballers' Association and the Football Writers last term. The Portugal winger is the first United player to win the Ballon d'Or since George Best in 1968 and the first from his country since Luis Figo in 2000.

Final positions (British based players in bold):

1. Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal, Manchester United), 446 points 2. Lionel Messi (Argentina, Barcelona), 281 pts 3. Fernando Torres (Spain, Liverpool), 179 pts 4. Iker Casillas (Spain, Real Madrid), 133 pts 5. Xavi (Spain, Barcelona), 97 pts 6. Andrei Arshavin (Russia, Zenit St Petersburg), 64 pts 7. David Villa (Spain, Valencia), 55 pts 8. Kaka (Brazil, AC Milan), 31 pts 9. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden, Inter Milan), 30 pts 10 Steven Gerrard (England, Liverpool), 28 pts 11. Marcos Senna (Spain, Villarreal), 16 pts. 12. Emmanuel Adebayor (Togo, Arsenal), 12 pts. 13. Wayne Rooney (England, Manchester United), 11 pts. 14. Sergio Aguero (Argentina, Atletico Madrid), 10 pts. 15. Frank Lampard (England, Chelsea), 8 pts. 16. Franck Ribery (France, Bayern Munich), 7 pts. 17. Samuel Eto'o (Cameroon, Barcelona), 6 pts. 18. Gianluigi Buffon (Italy, Juventus), 5 pts. 19. Michael Ballack (Germany, Chelsea), Cesc Fabregas (Spain, Arsenal), 4 pts. 21. Didier Drogba (Ivory Coast, Chelsea), Sergio Ramos (Spain, Real Madrid), Nemanja Vidic (Serbia, Manchester United), 3 pts. 24. Edwin van der Sar (Netherlands, Manchester United), Ruud van Nistelrooy (Netherlands, Real Madrid), 2 pts. No votes : Karim Benzema (Lyon), Pepe (Real Madrid), Luca Toni (Bayern Munich), Rafael van der Vaart (Real Madrid), and Yuri Zhirkov (CSKA Moscow).

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