Cristiano Ronaldo has been hailed across the world after he was named the best footballer on the planet in Zurich on Monday night.
The Real Madrid forward beat strong competition from Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Franck Ribery of Bayern Munich to win the coveted Ballon d’Or trophy.
And news of his success went global with several newspapers in Portugal running the headline ‘Tears of Gold’ after Ronaldo broke down as he collected his award.
Front page: Ronaldo was big news in the Spanish papers after his Ballon d’Or triumph in Zurich while Lionel Messi was quoted as saying he was looking forward after missing out on the award he won last year
Meanwhile, Brazilian legend Pele, who was awarded the honourary Ballon d’Or Prix d’Honneur, compared Ronaldo to the late, great Eusebio.
‘Today Messi and Ronaldo are above the rest. Ronaldo reminds me a bit of Eusebio, he is well bred. He has the elegance and the creativity of the great players,’ he said.
Winning the World Cup used to have greater significance in the voting for the Ballon d’Or but the success of Ronaldo and Messi, who won the award from 2009-12, proved that was no longer true, according to the Brazilian.
‘It is perhaps less important than it used to be when I was playing,’ added Pele.
‘I’m not saying it is not essential to win the World Cup but the Champions League now has the same considerable impact celebrity-wise.’
Emotional: ‘Tears of Gold’ was a popular headline on the newspapers in Ronaldo’s homeland
Poster boy: Brazil’s Metro newspaper (left) imagines Ronaldo saying ‘I will look so good in the photos’ while O Jogo (right) ran with the headline ‘The world in your pocket’ following the Portuguese international’s win
Ribery, meanwhile, questioned what more he could have done to win the award after completing the treble with Bayern Munich last season.
‘What more could I have done other than to win absolutely everything with Bayern?’ he said to German newspaper Bild.
Nevertheless, the Frenchman says he is unconcerned at missing out on an award which would mean little compared with the trophies he has been winning for Bayern.
‘Whether I finish second or third makes no difference. I’m no egoist and this title is not my aim – I’d rather win everything with Bayern all over again and then win the World Cup. That’s important.
‘Of course it would have been nice to win, but it’s fine. We are Bayern players and I first of all am just proud to be represented here.’
Worldwide: Newspapers in Mexico (left) and Germany (right) hailed a smiling Ronaldo at the awards in Zurich while Bild mentioned the fact the Real Madrid player beat competition from Bayern Munich’s Franck Ribery