Zurich: After winning his second consecutive Ballon d'Or football award and third overall, Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo has set his sights on Argentine striker Lionel Messi's achievement of winning the coveted prize a record four times.
"This is an unforgettable moment. I'm not going to stop here. I want to catch Messi,” Ronaldo said after receiving the award at a gala ceremony here Monday.
Messi has won the award in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. Ronaldo first won the trophy in 2008.
On winning the trophy twice in a row, he said, "I never thought I'd win such an important trophy, it's such a unique experience. It brings up so many different emotions and I'll use this award as motivation to continue working hard to win more individual and team honours".
The 29-year-old also thanked his family and his football colleagues at Portugal club Real Madrid without whom, he said, he could never have made it this far.
"Thanks to everyone who voted for me, to my teammates, my coach, the president and everyone associated with Real Madrid. This is a dream come true for me," the former Manchester United player said.
"I'd also like to thank everyone who has helped make me a better player, my national team and everyone in Portugal".