Zurich, Switzerland (SportsNetwork.com) - Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo has been named the world footballer of the year after winning his second consecutive Ballon d'Or award on Monday.
The Portugal national team captain bested Barcelona forward Lionel Messi and Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer to the honor, becoming the first Real Madrid player to win the award in successive years.
The 29-year-old received 37.66 percent of the votes, while Messi finished second with 15.76 percent and Neuer claimed 15.72 percent.
The win marked Ronaldo's third career Ballon d'Or honor after also winning it in 2008. He and Messi are the only two players to win the award since then, with the Argentine forward claiming the honor from 2009-2012.
He set a record by scoring 17 goals in last season's Champions League, leading Madrid to their 10th European crown. Ronaldo netted a pair of goals in the semifinals against Bayern Munich and the winning tally against rivals Atletico Madrid in the final.
This season, Ronaldo has bagged an impressive 26 goals in 16 La Liga matches, while adding five goals during the group stage of the Champions League.
Messi claimed the Golden Ball at this summer's World Cup after scoring four goals while leading Argentina to the final against Germany. He also became the all-time leading goal scorer in La Liga with 259 tallies, as well as the Champions League with 75 goals.
Neuer backstopped Germany to its fourth World Cup title, recording a clean sheet in the 1-0 win over Argentina in the final, while constantly showing the courage to leave his penalty area to clear the ball out of danger.
In addition to the Ballon d'Or, several other awards were handed out on Monday.
German national team head coach Joachim Low claimed the award for men's coach of the year as he guided his team to the World Cup title, while Wolfsburg's Ralf Kellermann was named the women's coach of the year.
Wolfsburg and Germany midfielder Nadine Kessler took home the honor for women's player of the year, beating out U.S. international Abby Wambach and Brazil's Marta, while Colombia's James Rodriguez won the Puskas award for goal of the year with his stunning strike against Uruguay in the quarterfinals of the World Cup.
Finally, the FIFA team of the year was also announced. Ronaldo, Messi and Neuer were all named to the squad along with defenders Phillip Lahm (Bayern Munich), David Luiz (PSG), Thiago Silva (PSG) and Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), midfielders Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), Toni Kroos (Real Madrid) and Angel Di Maria (Manchester United), as well as forward Arjen Robben (Bayern Munich).