Bernabeu Bites: Cristiano, Cristiano & More Cristiano

Mike Hewitt

Congratulations and speculation over this year's FIFA award flood in from interested and friendly parties as the world press reviewed Cristiano Ronaldo's match-winning performance in the Qualifier against Sweden.

On a night when Cristiano Ronaldo equalled Portugal's scoring record, the man who claims he's addicted to playing for his country was the subject of universal praise for his performance.

Over at The Guardian the piece by Andy Brassell was entitled "The night Cristiano Ronaldo ran away with the Ballon d'Or." The piece notes that after a week of canvassing for the award, Franck Ribery will have been left disappointed by Cristiano's on-the-pitch heroics. Cristiano Ronaldo, of course, has not been canvassing. Involved in a public spat with the organization's president he has limited himself to amazing where it should count: on the pitch.

Marca headlined their piece "Straight To The Gold" and remarked that having scored 66 times in 2013, Ronaldo is the obvious choice for the ballon d'or this year. Over at As, the paper notes that Ronaldo is now the favourite of betting organizations running a book on the award to win it after his performance last night.

On social media the reaction ranged from the sycophantic to the admiring.

Sepp Blatter, for example, the man Ronaldo has refused to meet to receive an apology in person for his remarks last month, left a simpering mention on his official Twitter account during his round of congratulations for those who qualified last night.

And then, humorously, another...

Less cloying praise piled in from a former teammate...

At The Daily Telegraph, the more mundane concerns facing FIFA are well expressed in their piece by Mark Ogden.

If Fifa are suffering a tinge of embarrassment having had to extend the voting deadline for the Ballon d'Or due to the 'low turnout of votes' in the poll to anoint the 2013 World Footballer of the Year, just imagine the humiliation if the winner chooses to snub the presentation ceremony in January.

But perhaps the man himself put it best. "I don't have to respond to anyone," he said after the game. "I'm just me."

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