Cristiano Ronaldo was crowned FIFA World Player of the Year for 2008 on Monday at a star-studded gala in Zurich.
The accolade completes a clean sweep of the individual awards for the Portuguese winger, having already won the Football Writers’ Player of the Year award, the PFA Player of the Year award, the Golden Boot, the Ballon d’Or and the FifPro World Player of the Year award.
Ronaldo received the award from Pele, and said: ”It is an overwhelming moment and a very special moment in my life and I would like to say to my mother and sister that the fireworks can be set off now.
”I’m extremely happy, it’s one of the most important moments in my life and I hope I can come back.”
Ronaldo faced competition from fellow nominees Xavi Hernandez, Fernando Torres, Lionel Messi and Kaka.
Messi finished in second place and Torres came third ahead of fourth-placed Kaka and Xavi.
Ronaldo becomes the first player from the Premier League to win the title, which has so far only been awarded to players based at clubs in Italy or Spain.
“There may be no English players here but I believe it’s important for England that myself and Fernando Torres are here representing two English clubs,” said Ronaldo before the ceremony.
“It is a victory for the English fans as well because the Premier League is strong, even though we must not forget the leagues in Spain and Italy remain strong as well.”
Ronaldo paid tribute to influence of United manager Sir Alex Ferguson and former Portugal coach Luiz Felipe Scolari.
He said: ”It’s a dream come true for me to get this award and I would like to dedicate this to my family.
“It’s true that the manager always has an important role to play. Without Sir Alex and Scolari I wouldn’t be here today.
“Sir Alex has had an important role to play in my life. Last season was a great one for me, my club, and the boss was important because I learned a lot from him. His immense experience, after so many years, is of paramount importance and for me it’s a privilege to be able to be a part of the history of such a big club as United.
”This is the climax of a fantastic era for me. I’m happy and proud about what has been done by my team and what we have won. I am lucky to to be part of the history of a club like Manchester United.”