Soccer

Ronaldo celebrates triumph with Madrid teammates

MADRID (AP) — Back in Spain and celebrating his Ballon d'Or triumph with his Real Madrid teammates, Cristiano Ronaldo is already being asked to do better.

Ronaldo, who beat Lionel Messi and Franck Ribery on Monday to win his second player of the year award, posed for a photo holding the trophy with the entire Madrid squad and coaches at training on Tuesday.

Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti called Ronaldo's victory "great publicity for football," but then called on the Madrid forward to lift his game. "To me, winning a Ballon d'Or means even more responsibility. It won't be easy to ask him for more with the numbers he's put up, but I will," Ancelotti said. "I like what he does very much, he's always working hard to be even better. So this is a reward for all his hard work."

Ronaldo wept openly at the ceremony after ending Messi's four-year run as the world's best player by scoring 69 goals, including a Champions League-leading 12, in 2013. "While this is an individual trophy, I've also won it because of the help of my teammates," said Ronaldo, who celebrated his success with president Florentino Perez and teammates with champagne on the flight home from Zurich on Monday night.

Ronaldo's teammates were quick to congratulate him on the club's first outright Ballon d'Or winner since Alfredo di Stefano in 1959. Luis Figo, Ronaldo and Fabio Cannavaro won the award while playing for Madrid but had joined the team late in the calendar year.

"We expected to win the 2013 Ballon d'Or," Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas tweeted after training, "your triumphs are ours too." The 28-year-old Ronaldo has scored two goals in three games in 2014 and will look to bolster his numbers on Thursday when Madrid travels to Osasuna for a Copa del Rey match after winning the first leg 2-0.

Follow Paul Logothetis on Twitter: www.twitter.com/PaulLogoAP

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