Flying in direct from the FIFA Club World Cup in Tokyo, Ronaldinho took his place on the press conference podium alongside Italy's FIFA World Cup™-winning captain Fabio Cannavaro. The third contender, Zinedine Zidane, was delayed, but both players present expressed their happiness and pride at being named among the top three players in the world.
For me it is a huge honour to be here, it's been an unbelievable season full of great moments of satisfaction. To be one of the three is a huge event and source of happiness for me. The competition is scarily strong, it's not usual for a defender to be nominated, to sit between Ronaldinho and Zidane, that is a success in itself for me. It is just important for me to be on the podium and show that all those who criticised me weren't necessarily right. It is a huge surprise that I am on the podium and I'm very happy. I can't ask for anything more this year, after becoming world champion and winning the Ballon d'Or . I have been very lucky this year. We won the World Cup and that has been very helpful in me making it here tonight.
On the race for the Primera Liga
It's not easy to try to catch Barca - they have a number of champions in their ranks. We have undergone enormous changes but we are on the right path to go to the top and that is our aim.
On succeeding Zidane as Real's No5
When I came to Spain many people asked me about the pressure of wearing Zidane's No5 shirt, but I felt it was an honour. To wear the same number as such a great player, it's an encouragement for me.
On his coaches' role in him being nominated for FIFA World Player of the Year
It must be a great compliment for the coaches I've had this year in Fabio Capello and Marcello Lippi . When you look at the matches we play at Madrid and Barca, the football is marvellous. When a team becomes outstanding, there is no one single player, it is about the will to win and succeed of everyone.
I'm not too tired, I'm fine although it's a shame we lost in Japan . Unfortunately we were not able to win what was a tough competition. We had to adapt to the country, to fight the jet lag which we could feel, but in the end we lost. So now we have to go on concentrating on the UEFA Champions League, try to win that and then let's try again in Japan next time.
It is a privilege to be sitting next to Fabio Cannavaro, it is a reason to be very happy; happy to be here and to participate in this event. It would be a continuation of my work if I could win this again for the third time. I feel so happy I already feel like a winner - it is a reward for my career and a reward for me to be with these two great players.
On his future
I think I need to keep playing, I think it is very important for me to play matches for the national team, for my club in the Champions League and in La Liga. I am doing the things I can - it's important to me to be the player I want to be and to prove it in every competition. I hope I am playing at my best for Barca.
On Brazil potentially staging the 2014 FIFA World Cup™
Brazil is on the right path to be prepared to stage a World Cup in 2014 if they are awarded that honour. Brazil is working towards that and we hope that Brazil will do everything to organise a great World Cup.