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Ronaldo wins third Ballon d'Or gong in Zurich

Portugal captain Ronaldo has been honoured following a year in which he broke the record for UEFA Champions League goals in a single season, scoring 17 in the 2013-14 edition as Real finally captured La Decima.

The former Manchester United man also shared the European Golden Shoe with Luis Suarez for his 31 La Liga goals last term despite being often hampered by injuries. 

Although Ronaldo could not help Portugal beyond the group stage of the World Cup, his 61 goals for club and country in 2014 served as a clear demonstration of why he is worthy of football's biggest individual prize for a second successive year.

He said when accepting the trophy: "It's been an unforgettable year, to win this trophy of this kind is something unique. 

"And what I can say is that I want to continue as I have, trying to go on to more titles.

"I should like to say to the Portuguese, I never thought I would win this trophy on three occasions, of course it's something that is always with me. 

"I wanted to become one of the greatest players of all time, this requires a lot of effort I would like to thank all of you."