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Dec 8, 2008

Award-winner Ronaldo happy in Manchester

Newly-crowned Ballon d'Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo insists he is loving life at Manchester United and hopes to collect many more awards at Old Trafford.

The Manchester United winger was named as Kaka's successor in the early hours of Tuesday morning and was presented with the trophy in a televised ceremony.

Ronaldo, who was the subject of much speculation this summer over a possible move to Real Madrid, was delighted to finally get his hands on the Ballon d'Or and has vowed to fire his club to more success this season.

''I feel at home there,'' he told France Football at a celebratory dinner last night. ''I arrived there when I was very young and I have won individual and team trophies there.

''Today I have this individual award that makes me very happy, it's the fulfilment of work that I have been doing for a long time. But I am ambitious. I have to keep on lifting individual and team trophies.''

At the ceremony itself Ronaldo had scotched rumours he was still thinking about a move to Madrid, insisting his mind is only focused on helping his team emulate last season's achievements.

''I hope everything will be good again this year,'' he said on TF1. ''And that we'll win the the Champions League again and the Premier League also, which is the club's priority.

''It's not the time to talk about other clubs at the moment. I'm happy here and I'm going to stay.''

Of the 96 leading journalists polled by the French magazine, 77 voted Ronaldo as their number one player this year and every one placed him in their top five after he scored 42 goals in United's Premier League and Champions League-winning season.

The 23-year-old was visibly moved at the ceremony and even had a tear in his eye as he listened to people pay tribute to his stunning year.

Samuel Eto'o, Luis Figo and Luiz Felipe Scolari were just a few of the host of footballing luminaries who spoke on the video montage, while members of his family and friends also had messages for him,

''Congratulations because you deserved this Ballon' d'Or,'' said team-mate Patrice Evra before jokingly adding: ''We helped you too, you have to think about us, You need to thank us too.''

Kaka added the FIFA World Player of the Year award to his Ballon d'Or last year, something which Ronaldo is widely expected to achieve too when that prize is announced next month. And the AC Milan star believes he is a worthy successor.

''I like the speed with which he runs with the ball,'' he said. ''He's a fundamental player. I like him a lot.''

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