Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo has capped off another memorable year by winning the Ballon d’Or for a fifth time, equalling the all-time record of Lionel Messi.
Cristiano Ronaldo has won the Ballon d’Or for a fifth time, equalling the all-time record of Lionel Messi. The Real Madrid forward collected 946 points, with Messi (670) second and Neymar (361) third.
The signature Golden Ball (Ballon d’Or in French) is still regarded as the highest individual honour up for grabs in football.
The award caps another memorable year for Ronaldo. He won the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Super Cup, Spanish La-Liga, Spanish Super Cup and could yet end up with the FIFA World Club Cup – Madrid begin their defence in one week.
The 32 year-old also helped European champions Portugal book a FIFA World Cup spot, his tally of 15 goals bettered only once in European Qualifiers. He has already collected the UEFA Best Player in Europe Award and Best FIFA Men’s Player prize this season.
“I feel very happy, it’s a fantastic moment in my career,” said Ronaldo. “I’ve been waiting for this for a long time. This year has been great. Trophies help win these awards and we have to thank my colleagues from Madrid and Portugal, it was very important for me. I hope to play at this level for a few more years. I hope the battle with Messi continues; things happen for a reason.”
Ronaldo previously won the Ballon d’Or in 2008, 2013, 2014 and 2016, finishing second to Messi in 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2015; the Argentinian was runner-up in 2008, 2013, 2014 and 2016.