December 8 – Cristiano Ronaldo was awarded the Ballon d‘Or for world player of the year on Thursday for a joint-record fifth time, equalling the feat of Lionel Messi.
Real Madrid’s Portuguese forward won the accolade, awarded by the magazine France Football, for the second consecutive year after leading Real to the La Liga and Champions League titles and, last year, Portugal to Euro 2016.
Ronaldo collected the trophy in a glittering ceremony at the Eiffel Tower in Paris to add to his FIFA Best Men’s Player prize in the rival awards ceremony last month.
“I feel very happy, it’s a fantastic moment in my career,” Ronaldo said upon collecting the award, standing with his mother Maria Dolores and his oldest son Cristiano Jr. “I’ve waited a long time for this. This has been a stupendous year for me, we won the Champions League and La Liga and on a personal level I was top scorer in the Champions League.
“Trophies help me win prizes like this and I have to thank my team mates at Madrid and Portugal. They’ve been very important to me.”
Messi came second while Paris St Germain’s Neymar, the world’s most expensive player, came third; veteran Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon finished fourth and Real midfielder Luka Modric fifth. Chelsea and France midfielder N‘Golo Kante was the highest ranked English Premier League player, coming eighth, while Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane, ranked 10th, was the only English player to make it into the top 10.
The Ballon d‘Or was first awarded in 1956 and was partnered with FIFA from 2010 to 2015 when FIFA ended the association to concentrate on developing its own awards.
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