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.
“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.