Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal controls the ball during a training session in Brasilia Nov. 18, 2008. Portugal winger Cristiano Ronaldo was named the European Footballer of the Year on Tuesday, becoming the fourth Manchester United player to win the Ballon d'Or.[Xinhua/Reuters Photo]
Portugal winger Cristiano Ronaldo was named the European Footballer of the Year on Tuesday, becoming the fourth Manchester United player to win the Ballon d'Or.
Barcelona forward Lionel Messi came second and Liverpool striker Fernando Torres third in a poll of 96 journalists from allover the world organized by France Football, the French magazine said on its website (www.francefootball.fr).
Ronaldo dominated the voting, garnering 446 points. Messi had 281 points and Torres had 179.
The 23-year-old Ronaldo joins former United greats Denis Law (1964), Bobby Charlton (1966) and George Best (1968) as a winner of the prize previously known as the European Footballer of the Year award.
Ronaldo was second last year with 277, while Kaka, last year's winner, was eighth this time with only 31 points.
Ronaldo scored 42 goals in all competitions last season as United won the Premier League and Champions League trophies.
The 23-year-old Ronaldo adds the Ballon d'Or award to the FIFPro World Player of the Year trophy he won in October, and the Professional Footballers Association and the Football Writers awards.