Here’s a look at the list of the candidates who have been nominated for this year’s awards.
The third nominee on the series is Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo
The winner of the award has to be above the age of 28 and still playing. Awarded for a footballer’s outstanding sporting achievements, the winner gets to leave his footprints on the Champions Promenade overlooking the seafront at the Principality of Monaco. Just like the Hollywood walk of fame, only slightly less cool.
Full name: Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro
DOB: 5 February, 1985
Clubs: Andorinha, Nacional, Sporting CP, Manchester United, Real Madrid*
Why is he on this list?
Ronaldo is one of the best footballers on the planet and his (completely unintentional) battle to be the best in the world which he fights with Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and is always the star at whichever club he plays for.
That was true at Manchester United where he developed into a world-class player and making the natural step up to Real Madrid saw him become one of the world’s best. Now at the peak of his powers, he is a terror for defenders and can always be counted on to deliver the goods.
Ronaldo is a complete player and as his former Manchester United team mate Gary Neville says, only when you come off the pitch and when he hasn’t scored a goal against you or assisted a goal against your team can you say you have done well against him.
Sadly for the opposition, that almost never happens. Ronaldo scored 45 goals and contributed to a further 11 in all competitions last season. Overall, he has scored 146 in 135 goals for Los Merengues in the league since joining them from Manchester United.
What has he won?
What hasn’t he?
At club level, Ronaldo has won nearly every trophy a player who has played for the clubs he has it capable of winning.
With Manchester United, he’s won three Premier League titles, one FA Cup, two League Cups, a Community Shield and the FIFA Club World Cup. He also help United lift their third Champions League trophy in 2008.
He’s added to that with a Primera Liga title, a Copa del Rey and a Super Cup.
In addition, he has won a slew of personal awards at club, national and European levels.
Since making his international debut, Ronaldo’s Portugal have gone from strength to strength. They finished runners-up at Euro 2004, fourth at the World Cup in 2006 and picked up a bronze medal in Poland-Ukraine last season.
Like the European Player of the Year award, his nation stands on the cusp of glory and given the progression his career has taken, that seems to be next on the list.
Best and worst moments
At club level, Ronaldo would have had his heart in his mouth when Petr Cech saved his penalty and put United’s Champions League triumph on the line in 2008. Fortunately for him, Nicolas Anelka and John Terry missed their penalties for Chelsea, making lifting the Champions League his best moment.
Ronaldo and his country were on the cusp of glory at Euro 2004 on home soil. But surprise winners Greece waylaid the hosts’ plans to derail Iberian side’s trophy dreams.
In 2006, Ronaldo was in hot water following his alleged involvement in sending off then United teammate Wayne Rooney. He was jeered for much of the following Premier League campaign but continued to perform at the top.
One of his best moments would have surely been in 2010, when he became a father for the first time. His son shares the same name as he does.
What’s he like off the pitch?
Ronaldo has always donated to charitable causes.
In 2004, following the Indian Ocean tsunami, Ronaldo flew to Aceh, Indonesia to help with relief and aid for those who had been affected by the disaster after international television channels showed footage of an eight-year-old boy wearing a number 7 Portugal jersey. The boy had been separated from his deceased parents for 19 days.
In 2010, he donated funds to the victims of the Madeira floods and was scheduled to take part in game between Nacional & Maritimo and FC Porto to raise funds for the victims.
Ronaldo does not drink alcohol because his father died of a liver condition brought about by it when he was 20 and his father was 52. The damages he has won from libel damages in the past have been donated to charities. One such donation has been towards a clinic in Madeira which saved his mother from cancer.
Could he win the Golden Foot?
He certainly has the character both on and off the pitch to win it but this season might not be his because there are footballers who have a greater claim to it than he does in terms of service and longevity, but he will most definitely win it in the future.