ZURICH: Time after time . . .  Cristiano Ronaldo has been voted World Player of rhe Year for a second successive year.

The Real Madrid and Portugal superstar was crowned at the FIFA Gala in the Zurich Kongresshaus with Germany’s Manuel Neuer runner-up and Leo Messi third {Voting details: http://tinyurl.com/oljj5nn}.

Wolfsburg and Germany midfielder Nadine Kessler was named women’s player of the year, while Colombia’s James Rodriguez – a team-mate of Ronaldo’s now in Spain – won the Puskas Goal of the Year prize. Germany’s World Cup-winning boss Joachim Low won men’s Coach of the Year.

Cristiano Ronaldo: World No1 as individual and team player

Wolfsburg boss Ralf Kellermann was named women’s football coach of the year after a successful defence of the Champions League.

The three candidates for the Ballon d’Or were all picked in the team of the year, along with defenders Phillip Lahm, David Luiz, Thiago Silva and Sergio Ramos, midfielders Andres Iniesta, Toni Kroos and Angel Di Maria and forward Arjen Robben.

Ronaldo’s selection will not have gone down well with UEFA’s French president, Michel Platini, who had insisted on the announcement of the shortlist that, in a World Cup year, a winner of the ultimate national team prize should be the only credible winner ie, Neuer.

On that basis Ronaldo’s success underlines how the club game has knocked national team football sideways in terms of status and popularity with fans. Ronaldo won the World Club Cup and Champions League with Madrid but was a first-round departure with Portugal at the World Cup.

To be fair, Ronaldo played in Brazil despite knee trouble which should have prevented him playing in any othr match on any other occasion. He thus risked his long-term fitness in the national cause.

On receiving his award he said: “I was confident after the year I had but the other finalists also had good years. I’m very happy.”

Rodriguez won the FIFA Puskas award for the best goal for his World Cup strike against Uruguay in the second round in Maracana in June, beating Irishwoman Stephanie Roche. Holland striker Robin van Persie was third for his diving header against Spain in the World Cup.

Roche, who scored a stunning volley for Peamount against Wexford in the Irish top flight, had hoped to be the first female winner of the Puskas Award. She landed a remarkable 33pc of the public vote to 42pc for Rodriguez.

Rodriguez’s control and volley from 25 yards in the last-16 tie was enough to win the award. The 23-year-old, then at Monaco, was the top scorer in the World Cup and joined Madrid after the tournament.

Roche’s spectacular effort in the Bus Eireann Women’s National League was in front of an estimated 95 people on October 13, 2013.

She received the ball with her back to goal, took a touch on her right foot, flicked the ball over a defender’s head with her left foot and then swivelled and volleyed home from outside the box.

FIFA Awards 2014

Men’s Player of the Year: Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal, Real Madrid)

Women’s Player of the Year: Nadine Kessler (Germany, VfL Wolfsburg)

Men’s Football Coach of the Year: Joachim Low (Germany)

Women’s Football Coach of the Year: Ralf Kellermann (VfL Wolfsburg)

FIFA Ferenc Puskas Award (Outstanding goal): James Rodriguez (Colombia)

Presidential Award: Hiroshi Kagawa (Japanese journalist)

Fair Play Award: FIFA World Cup volunteers

FIFA/FIFPro Team of the Year: Manuel Neuer (Germany); Philipp Lahm (Germany), David Luiz (Brazil), Thiago Silva (Brazil), Sergio Ramos (Spain); Andres Iniesta (Spain), Toni Kroos (Germany), Angel Di Maria (Argentina); Lionel Messi (Argentina), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Arjen Robben (Netherlands).