Real Madrid's Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg football match Real Madrid CF vs Manchester United FC at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on February 13, 2013. (Photo credit: CESAR MANSO/AFP/Getty Images)
Lionel Messi's streak of four consecutive Ballon d'Or awards as the world's best soccer player came to an end Monday when Cristiano Ronaldo finally bested his La Liga rival.
Ronaldo received his award at a presentation in Zurich, Switzerland.
Ronaldo won the award in 2008, but has since played second fiddle to Messi in FIFA's eyes.
The Portuguese sensation was the clear favorite heading into Monday's ceremony, scoring 66 goals in 56 appearances in 2013. Messi in comparison had 24 goals in 45 games and the third contender for the award, Bayern Munich's Franck Ribery, tallied 44 goals in 52 matches, as well as a UEFA Champions League winner's medal.
The award caps a successful year for Ronaldo. 2013 also saw him almost single-handedly carry Portugal over Sweden in a World Cup qualification playoff to earn a berth in Brazil.