Ronaldo wins fourth Ballon d'Or crown

The 31-year-old Portuguese inherits the title of the best player in the world from Lionel Messi


Reuters December 12, 2016
Handout photo released on December 12, 2016 by L'Equipe shows Portugese player Cristiano Ronaldo posing with the Ballon d'Or France Football trophy in Madrid. Cristiano Ronaldo was named winner of the Ballon d'Or on December 12, 2016 for the fourth time, organisers France Football said, capping a terrific year for the Real Madrid star. PHOTO: AFP

PARIS: Portugal and Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo won the Ballon d'Or award for the fourth time on Monday after claiming the European Championship and Champions League titles in 2016.

Ronaldo is now one short of his La Liga rival Lionel Messi's record tally of five.

"For me it's a great honor to receive my fourth golden ball. The emotion is like for the first one, it's a dream come true again. I never thought in my mind to win four times. I'm so happy," said Ronaldo, who won the award in 2008, 2013 and 2014.

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"I take the opportunity to thank all my team mates, from the national team and for Real Madrid. I feel so proud and happy."

The Ballon d'Or, which merged with the FIFA World Player of the Year award from 2010-15 to create the FIFA Ballon d'Or, returned to France Football magazine this year, with only journalists voting and not national team coaches and captains.

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