Cristiano Ronaldo has emerged the 2017 Ballon d’Or winner. The Real Madrid star boy was on Thursday announced as the winner in a glitzy ceremony at the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
The Portugese superstar clinched the gong for a fifth time by finishing ahead of Lionel Messi and Neymar.
Ronaldo is now leveled with Barcelona’s Messi on five Ballon d’Ors following a 2016-17 season in which he won the Champions League and La Liga double with Real Madrid.
The 2017 winner was unveiled in a dramatic video which slowly zoomed in on a sparkling Eiffel Tower to reveal Ronaldo standing on the podium and holding up the trophy.
‘Of course, I feel happy. It’s a big moment in my career,’ Ronaldo said upon being presented with the award. ‘It’s something I hope to win every year. Thanks to my Real Madrid team-mates. And I want to thank the rest of the people who helped me reach this level.’
Ronaldo was later joined on stage by his mother Maria Dolores dos Santos Aveiro and son Cristiano Ronaldo Jr as his girlfriend Georgina Rodriguez watched on from the audience.
David Ginola presented the show in Paris, with the Brazilian Ronaldo providing assistance, and handed the award over at the glamorous ceremony in the French capital.
Ronaldo came out on top in the ceremony as organisers France Football revealed the 32-year-old beat out competition from the 29 other nominees to win the award, which is voted for by a group of 173 journalists.
Barcelona’s Messi finished as runner-up to Ronaldo in what was the seventh consecutive year where the superstars have occupied the top two positions in the voting.
Neymar, who became the world’s most expensive player when he joined Paris Saint-Germain from Barcelona for £198million in August, came third. Juventus’ veteran goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon finished fourth.
The Premier League’s highest placed player was Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante who finished eighth while Tottenham striker Harry Kane just sneaked into the top 10.
Ronaldo’s Madrid team-mates were also in the running, with Luka Modric and Sergio Ramos finishing fifth and sixth respectively. Isco (12th), Marcelo (16th), Toni Kroos (17th) and Karim Benzema (25th) rounded off Los Blancos’ seven nominations for the award.
It is the latest individual award handed to Ronaldo after he was named FIFA’s The Best men’s player in London in October beating Messi and Neymar to the prize.
Ronaldo finished with 946 points in the voting system, which sees journalists select their first, second and third-placed selections.
The ceremony comes during a period when Ronaldo is struggling to recapture his best form for Madrid with just two La Liga goals so far this season for Los Blancos.
However his form in Europe has been much better and he became the first man to score in all six Champions League group stage games when he scored for Madrid in their 3-2 win over Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday.
Ronaldo and Messi have dominated the award over the past decade, sharing it for the past 10 seasons ever since AC Milan’s Brazilian midfielder Kaka won ahead of the pair at the 2007 ceremony.
Messi’s Ballon d’Ors came in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2015 while Ronaldo has been more dominant in recent seasons by winning four of the last five awards to add to his 2008 triumph.
His fifth award means he and Messi are tied for most wins, with two more than any other player in history. Michael Platini, Johan Cruyff and Marco van Basten were both awarded the gong three times – under it’s previous incarnation the European Footballer of the Year award.
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