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Liverpool will be hoping to keep up the pressure at the top of the Premier League with a win over West Ham at Anfield night.

Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo has won the prestigious Ballon d’Or award.

Ronaldo has described winning the Ballon d’Or as one of the ‘most beautiful’ days of his life.

The Portuguese winger was the clear winner after finishing 165 points ahead of Barcelona’s Messi, with Liverpool’s Torres a further 102 points behind the Argentina forward.

“It is one of the most beautiful days of my life. To gain this trophy is something I dreamed of as a child,” he told France Football.

“Great emotion fills me but I cannot really describe it.

“I want to thank those who voted for me, those who know me and those who live with me.

“I was not worried, because I was aware of what I did in the course of the season.

“But to the people who mentioned my name, I say thank you. Thank you also to my team-mates.

“This (trophy) is one that I want to win again because it is so good. Therefore, I will wake and I will say to myself, ‘I want to be even better’.”

Ronaldo scored 42 goals last season to propel United to glory in both the Barclays Premier League and Champions League.

The 23-year-old is already FIFPro World Player of the Year and took the top prizes from the Professional Footballers Association and the Football Writers last season as well as winning the ESM Golden Shoe awarded to the leading goalscorer in Europe.

Ronaldo becomes the first United player to be awarded the Ballon d’Or since George Best in 1968 and the fourth in total following earlier wins by Bobby Charlton and Denis Law.

2008 Ballon d’Or voting
1 Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester Utd) 446 points
2 Lionel Messi (Barcelona) 281 pts
3 Fernando Torres (Liverpool) 179 pts
4 Iker Casillas (Real Madrid) 133 pts
5 Xavi Hernandez (Barcelona) 97 pts
6 Andriy Arshavin (Zenit St-Petersburg) 64 pts
7 David Villa (Valencia) 55 pts
8 Kaka (AC Milan) 31 pts
9 Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Inter Milan) 30 pts
10 Steven Gerrard (Liverpool) 28 pts
11 Marcos Senna (Villarreal) 16 pts
12 Emmanuel Adebayor (Arsenal) 12 pts
13 Wayne Rooney (Manchester United) 11 pts
14 Sergio Aguero (Atletico Madrid) 10 pts
15 Frank Lampard (Chelsea) 8 pts
16 Franck Ribery (Bayern Munich) 7 pts
17 Samuel Eto’o (Barcelona) 6 pts
18 Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus) 5 pts
19 Michael Ballack (Chelsea), Cesc Fabregas (Arsenal) 4 pts
21 Didier Drogba (Chelsea), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Nemanja Vidic (Manchester United) 3 pts
24 Edwin van der Sar (Manchester United), Ruud van Nistelrooy (Real Madrid), 2 pts

Previous winners:
1956 – Stanley Matthews (England)
1957 – Alfredo di Stefano (Spain)
1958 – Raymond Kopa (France)
1959 – Alfredo di Stefano (Spain)
1960 – Luis Suarez (Spain)
1961 – Omar Sivori (Italy)
1962 – Josef Masopust (Czechoslovakia)
1963 – Lev Yashin (Soviet Union)
1964 – Denis Law (Scotland)
1965 – Eusebio (Portugal)
1966 – Bobby Charlton (England)
1967 – Florian Albert (Hungary)
1968 – George Best (Northern Ireland)
1969 – Gianni Rivera (Italy)
1970 – Gerd Mueller (West Germany)
1971 – Johan Cruyff (Holland)
1972 – Franz Beckenbauer (Germany)
1973 – Johan Cruyff (Holland)
1974 – Johan Cruyff (Holland)
1975 – Oleg Blokhin (Soviet Union)
1976 – Franz Beckenbauer (West Germany)
1977 – Allan Simonsen (Denmark)
1978 – Kevin Keegan (England)
1979 – Kevin Keegan (England)
1980 – Karl-Heinz Rummenigge (West Germany)
1981 – Karl-Heinz Rummenigge (West Germany)
1982 – Paolo Rossi (Italy)
1983 – Michel Platini (France)
1984 – Michel Platini (France)
1985 – Michel Platini (France)
1986 – Igor Belanov (Soviet Union)
1987 – Ruud Gullit (Holland)
1988 – Marco van Basten (Holland)
1989 – Marco van Basten (Holland)
1990 – Lothar Matthaus (Germany)
1991 – Jean-Pierre Papin (France)
1992 – Marco van Basten (Holland)
1993 – Roberto Baggio (Italy)
1994 – Hristo Stoichkov (Bulgaria)
1995 – George Weah (Liberia)
1996 – Matthias Sammer (Germany)
1997 – Ronaldo (Brazil)
1998 – Zinedine Zidane (France)
1999 – Rivaldo (Brazil)
2000 – Luis Figo (Portugal)
2001 – Michael Owen (England)
2002 – Ronaldo (Brazil)
2003 – Pavel Nedved (Czech Republic)
2004 – Andriy Shevchenko (Ukraine)
2005 – Ronaldinho (Brazil)
2006 – Fabio Cannavaro (Italy)
2007 – Kaka (Brazil)

Liverpool will be hoping to keep up the pressure at the top of the Premier League with a win over West Ham at Anfield night.

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