Cristiano Ronaldo won his fifth Ballon D’Or on Thursday, equalling arch-rival Lionel Messi’s record for clinching the prestigious title the most number of times. Ronaldo’s goals helped Real Madrid to the Spanish League title and a second consecutive UEFA Champions League win. He also was instrumental in Portugal’s successful 2018 World Cup qualification campaign. Ronaldo scored 15 goals, the second highest in the European qualifiers and fourth highest overall.
He is winning the award for the second consecutive year having scored 25 goals in the league and 12 in the Champions League in the previous season. He collected the trophy in a glitzy ceremony at the Eiffel Tower in the French capital, presented by former France player David Ginola.
Another dream come true. Unbelievable feeling. Thanks to my family, friends, teammates, coaches and everyone that stood by my side throughout the years.👌🏽🔝 pic.twitter.com/A9jyYswePD
— Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano) 7 December 2017
Messi came second while Paris St Germain forward Neymar Jr, the most expensive player in the world, came third; veteran Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon finished fourth and Real midfielder Luka Modric came fifth.
Chelsea and France midfielder N’Golo Kante was the highest ranked 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.
Ronaldo, who this year also helped the national side qualify for the World Cup in Russia next year, won his first Ballon d’Or in 2008 while with Manchester United and collected it again in 2013, 2014 and 2016. This win now means that it has been 10 years since anyone apart from Messi or Ronaldo has won the award.