Footballer of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo insisted he would not rest on his laurels following his memorable season in 2007/2008.
The Manchester United winger, 23, collected the award voted for by the Football Writers’ Association at a gala dinner in London’s Royal Lancaster Hotel on May 15.
The Portugal international topped the poll of journalists ahead of Liverpool striker Fernando Torres and Portsmouth goalkeeper David
Ronaldo, who also won the prestigiuos FWA accolade last season, netted an outstanding 41 goals during the regular season – including 31 in the Barclays Premier League as United beat Chelsea to the title and would go on to be crowned champions of Europe following a dramatic penalty shoot-out victory in Moscow a week later.
Following a tribute from former Manchester United and England midfielder Bobby Charlton, Ronaldo said: “I am very happy to win this award. It is very important for me to win again, but most important is the collective awards (of the team).
“I am still going to want to win more, to carry on like this, I will not stop because I have these two awards.
“Next season I will try to do my best again.
“I have improved every season and will try to improve next season.
“I am enjoying my football, and want to carry on.”
Former Manchester United captain Bryan Robson has been
impressed by Ronaldo’s development into one of the world’s greatest players since arriving from Sporting Lisbon.
“The great thing for Manchester United is that Cristiano is getting better all the time and has made considerable progress as a player since arriving at the club five years ago,” Robson wrote in his personal tribute to Ronaldo for the FWA.
“When I first saw him play my initial impressions were that he was a great athlete with terrific ability, but that he needed to learn the game in terms of awareness.
“Basically he needed to be more aware of his team-mates. He’s done that now, become more of a team player yet hasn’t had to sacrifice his exciting dribbling ability.”
It is the second season in succession Ronaldo received the accolade, now in its 61st year. Former Arsenal striker Thierry Henry was the last man to collect the FWA award twice in a row, from 2003 and 2004.
Chairman of the FWA, Paul Hetherington, commented: “Ronaldo’s award is no surprise after his brilliant form this season and incredible goal-scoring record – 38 at the moment -and he is, of course, essentially a winger.
“Cristiano was an overwhelming winner and, given his age, he has the potential and ability to dominate this award for years in an unprecedented way.”