DUBAI: Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo capped off a near-perfect 2014 on Monday as he picked up his third Globe Soccer Player of the Year trophy at the Dubai Football Gala on Monday night.
The 29-year-old captain arrived at the luxury hotel Atlantis The Palm to be greeted with a standing ovation and a swarm of camera phones, reported the Dubai-based news television channel Al Arabiya.
When the star was reminded the last time he collected the Player of the Year award in Dubai he followed it up with the Ballon d’Or, football’s most prestigious award, he said, “I hope it can be a good signal, but I am not worried about that.” “The people who vote know what they need to do. I feel happy. This is one more trophy for dedication and hard work.” Ronaldo broke the record this year for the number of goals scored in a single Champions Leagues “La Liga” season – he reached 200 league goals in just 178 games.
Ronaldo found himself among familiar faces as his Madrid teammates and staff completed a sweep at the annual awards ceremony. Colombian midfielder James Rodriguez, whom Madrid signed in the summer after a breakthrough World Cup in Brazil, was given the Player Revelation of the Year Award. Manager Carlo Ancelotti collected the Coach of the Year trophy. And Florentino Perez was chosen as the President of the Year. The awards ceremony is part of the Globe Soccer conference.
“I feel very honored to collect my first [individual] trophy with Real Madrid,” Rodriguez said.
“To win more with the club is very important in my career. I want to improve, I want to please the supporters and I want to win more with this prestigious club. It is that simple.” Madrid, the 2014 Uefa Champions League winners, are in town for the annual Dubai Football Challenge, an exhibition match against AC Milan tonight at The Sevens. The side were awarded Team of the Year in recognition of their historic 10th European Cup in May.
“It was one of the biggest emotions this season,” Ronaldo said. “It was a special moment. Madrid were looking very forward to La Decima and I have to say, I am very proud. We did a fantastic season and won four titles, which was very important and we are one of the best teams in the world.” Other winners on the night included Mehdi Benatia, who won Best Arab Player and Filippo Inzaghi, the AC Milan coach, who was presented the Player Career Award for more than 20 years as a professional.
The former Juventus and Milan striker was a member of the victorious Italian national team at the 2006 World Cup, while he also lifted three Serie A titles and two Uefa Champions League crowns.
Inzaghi scored both Milan’s goals in the 2007 final victory against Liverpool.
“They were probably the best goals I scored because they were some of the most important,” Inzaghi said. “I am a lucky man because I’m now the coach of my home team. It’s a great team and a great emotion to coach them.