There is little left to be said about Cristiano Ronaldo and certainly few superlatives yet to be attached to this dazzling and irrepressible winger. At just 23, the Manchester United and Portugal star already has the world at his feet, and he was back to his brilliant best yesterday in the Red Devils' 3-0 win over Chelsea.
Ronaldo had, of course, set the most demanding of benchmarks for himself during a remarkable 2007/08 that encompassed 42 goals and innumerable outstanding performances as United clinched a double of domestic and European titles. By the time the FIFA Club World Cup was added in December, Ronaldo's contribution had been honoured with the European Golden Shoe, Ballon d'Or and FIFPro Player of the Year awards.
There is, however, one honour that Ronaldo has yet to lay his hands on, and he made it clear today that the FIFA World Player award is one that he is desperate to claim.
As he told FIFA.com: "It's a great honour to be here along the best footballers in the world. Every player has the dream to win this award. I'm still young and to be here [at the Gala] for the second time, that's amazing.
"2008 was a great year, individually and, most importantly, collectively. We have won the Premier League, the Champions League and the Club World Cup. I also scored many beautiful goals last and I gladly remember the ones against Portsmouth, Roma, West Ham or Bolton."
Ronaldo, who missed out to Kaka in the running for last year's FIFA World Player Award, also insisted that there is no chance of him resting on his laurels having achieved global renown so early in his career.
"I'm still ambitious," he said. "I want to carry on and get better and better, even though it's hard to achieve that. My ambition is huge."
Stick with FIFA.com for the full, exclusive video interview with Ronaldo, available shortly, which includes his thoughts on retaining the UEFA Champions League and Portugal's FIFA World Cup™ hopes.