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Dublin: 8°C Saturday 15 May 2021


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THE BIGGEST NAMES in world football gathered at Kongresshaus in Zurich for the 2014 Ballon d’Or awards ceremony today. 

We brought you all the winners and, as always, we’d love to hear your thoughts. Email, tweet, post a message to our Facebook wall, or leave a comment below.

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  • Stephanie Roche comes second in the Puskas Award behind winner James Rodriguez. Robin van Persie is third. 
  • Cristiano Ronaldo wins his second consecutive Ballon d’or with Lionel Messi finishing runner-up ahead of Manuel Neuer.

Good afternoon, folks. While many of you will be finishing up an average mid-January Monday in work, Ireland strike Stephanie Roche is right now rubbing shoulders with the world’s best players.

Having remarkably made the final three of this year’s Puskas Award for her spectacular finish for Pemaount United back in October 2013 (you’ve definitely seen it by now), the 26-year-old is attending the glamorous event in Zurich.

Roche is up against Manchester United and Dutch striker Robin van Persie and James Rodriguez, of Real Madrid and Colombia, and a winner will be announced in the coming hours.

She has already met one of the other finalists today, as well as legendary Italian Alessandro Del Piero. Incidentally, Van Persie won’t be in attendance as he injured himself during yesterday’s defeat to Southampton.

If the Dutchman does win, his compatriot Ruud Gullit will pick up the award on his behalf.

There is also the small matter of the Fifa Ballon d’Or prize, which Ronaldo will be aiming to win for the second consecutive year. He is up against old rival Lionel Messi, a former winner, and Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.

Here’s the trio earlier today:

Ballon d'Or trio

Right, tell us once and for all… which of the three goals is the best?

Poll Results:

Stephanie Roche (5254)
James Rodriguez (998)
Robin van Persie (382)

You can still vote for your favourite here but only for the next few minutes. So it’s your very, VERY last chance.

Abdo explains that there is just under an hour to vote for your favourite goal, before showing all ten that made the long list. The winner is due to be announced at 6.30pm.

Puskas finalists

Del Piero is out on stage to help announce the FIFPro Team of the Year. No surprises to hear it’s Manuel Neuer in goal, with Sergio Ramos, Philipp Lahm, David Luiz and Thiago Silva making up the back four. Yes, David Luiz.

The midfield trio is Angel Di Maria, Andres Iniesta and Toni Kroos, while Arjen Robben, Leo Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo make up a frightening attack.

Jamie Carragher isn’t alone in expressing his surprise at one particular inclusion:

Next, Fifa president Sepp Blatter names 90-year-old Hiroshi Kagawa, a former Japanese international turned journalist, as the winner of this year’s Presidential Award.

In French, Blatter remembers the tragic events of the past week by adding: “Tonight, we are all Charlie”.

FIFA Je Suis Charlie

Vfl Wolfsburg’s Ralf Kellermann wins Women’s Coach of the Year. He uses his acceptance speech to pay tribute to Junior Malanda, the 20-year-old Wolfsburg player who died in a car crash this week.

And Germany’s Joachim Löw claims Men’s Coach of the Year after their World Cup victory in Brazil last summer.

The voting has officially CLOSED for the Puskas Award. We’re about five minutes away from finding out the winner. C’mon Steph!

Just when we think we are getting the Puskas Award winner announced…. the host introduces ‘a singer-songwriter from Switzerland’.

My lord, talk about filler!

The singer is finished now and we are seeing a montage previewing next year’s women’s World Cup.

Former Real Madrid star Christian Karembeu is on now to discuss the fight against Ebola.

Here we go! The nominees for the Puskas Award are being announced.

So… is Steph Roche going to do it?

And James Rodriguez is the winner!

That’s tough on Stephanie Roche but even to make the final three is an amazing achievement.

And just like that, the ceremony moves on. Manuel Neuer is now being interviewed on stage. Can we not have a few minutes to grieve??

The women’s player of the year nominees are being announced now.

And the FIFA women’s player of the year is Germany’s Nadine Kessler.

And Thierry Henry is out to give the Ballon d’Or.

And it goes to Cristiano Ronaldo once again!

So Steph Roche just missed out and once again Cristiano Ronaldo is the king of world football.

That’s all for our liveblog today. I hope you enjoyed our minute-by-minute coverage of the Ballon d’Or award ceremony. Check the site for more coverage from Zurich for the rest of the night.

About the author:

Ben Blake