Real Madrid and Portugal superstar Cristiano Ronaldo has won the fifth Ballon d’Or of his career, further cementing his position as the best player in the world after already scooping ‘Best FIFA Men’s Player’ title at the annual FIFA gala in October.
Ronaldo had been the overwhelming favourite to retain the Ballon d’Or accolade he won this time last year after helping Real Madrid to La Liga glory for the first time in five years and to become the first club to retain the Champions League trophy in the post-1992 era.
He now draws level with great personal rival Lionel Messi on five Ballon d’Or gongs.
The Ballon d’Or, which has been under the sole control of France Football magazine since 2016, was first awarded to Ronaldo in 2008 following an incredible season with Manchester United during which he scored 42 goals and won Premier League and Champions League honours.
He won subsequent Ballon d’Or awards in 2013 and 2014, the latter of which came after Real Madrid finally captured their elusive 10th European crown, La Decima.
Ronaldo, who will turn 33 years of age in February, recently declared that he wants to win as many as seven Ballon d’Or awards before he retires, also stating that he wants seven children.
Having seen girlfriend Georgina Rodriguez give birth to his fourth child in November, Ronaldo is currently three children and two Ballon d’Or trophies short of his target.
Lionel Messi and Neymar completed the top three, while Gianluigi Buffon and Luka Modric finished fourth and fifth respectively. Sergio Ramos, Kylian Mbappe, N’Golo Kante, Robert Lewandowski and Harry Kane completed the top ten.
The Ballon d’Or Top 20:
20: De Gea
14: De Bruyne