Paris, Dec 2: Manchester United and Portugal winger Cristiano Ronaldo was awarded the Ballon d'Or on Tuesday after inspiring the English club to the Champions League and Premier League double this year.
Barcelona forward Lionel Messi came second and Liverpool striker Fernando Torres third in a poll of 96 journalists from all over the world organised by France Football.
The 23-year-old Ronaldo follows former United greats Denis Law (1964), Bobby Charlton (1966) and George Best (1968) as a winner of the prize previously known as the European Footballer of the Year award. He scored 42 goals for the club last season.
He also became this year only the second player to win England's Footballer of the Year award in successive seasons.
However, he failed to make an impact at the European Championship in Austria and Switzerland as Portugal bowed out to eventual runners-up Germany in the quarter-finals.
During a pre-season dominated by speculation about a move to Real Madrid, Ronaldo underwent ankle surgery but he has scored eight goals in 11 league games since returning to action in September.
Ronaldo, who was second to Brazil playmaker Kaka last year, is the first Portuguese to win the award since Luis Figo in 2000 and the first Premier League player since Michael Owen the following year.