Ronaldo named FIFA player of the year
Published 12/01/2009 | 22:41
Cristiano Ronaldo hailed "a dream come true" after becoming the first Premier League star to be named FIFA's world player of the year.
The Manchester United and Portugal winger finished ahead of runner-up Lionel Messi of Barcelona and Liverpool's Spanish striker Fernando Torres in third place to take the award at a gala in Zurich.
He also made it clear that United are in pole position to retain their Premier League crown as well as the Champions League trophy.
Ronaldo received the award from Pele and dedicated it to his family, but also paid tribute to the influence of United manager Sir Alex Ferguson.
He said: "It is an overwhelming moment, it is a dream come true and I would like to dedicate this to my family.
"I'm extremely happy, it's one of the most important moments in my life.
"But it's also true that the manager always has an important role to play. It was a great season for me and for my club, and the coach was important for me because I learned a lot for him. His experience over so many years is of paramount importance - it's a privilege to have such a great club manager. This is the climax of a fantastic era for me.
"Manchester United are of course in a good position right now to win both the Champions League and the Premier League again.
"We have shown we are one of the best clubs in the world and if we continue on this path we would have few troubles.”