Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo wins fifth Ballon d'Or

By Alex Butler  |  Dec. 7, 2017 at 3:43 PM
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Dec. 7 (UPI) -- Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo won the Ballon d'Or on Thursday for a fifth time.

He now has the same number of Ballon d'Ors as Barcelona star Lionel Messi. Ronaldo won the World Player of the Year award in 2008, 2013, 2014 and 2016, before claiming his latest honor. He led Real Madrid to the Champions League and La Liga titles.

"This is something I look forward to every year," Ronaldo said after receiving the award, according to the BBC.

"Thanks to my Real Madrid teammates. And I want to thank the rest of the people who helped me reach this level."

Madrid had several other players on the 30-man shortlist for the award. Those players included: Luka Modric, Sergio Ramos, Isco, Marcelo, Kross and Benzema.

Ronaldo also won his third UEFA Club Footballer of the Year award and his second Best FIFA Men's player award this year.

"Cristiano Ronaldo is quite simply the king of football," Real Madrid said in a news release. "The madridista forward has picked up the Ballon d'Or 2017, making it two in a row and a total of five in his sparkling career. France Football magazine, the publication charged with presenting the prestigious accolade, has chosen the Portuguese ace as the best player in the world for yet another year. He was presented with the prize at an illustrious gala held at the Eifel Tower in Paris, which boasted the presence of a significant Real Madrid entourage, headed by the president, Florentino Pérez. Cristiano received 946 points to get the better of Messi and Neymar in a vote by journalists from 176 countries."

"Since getting his hands on the last Ballon d'Or, Cristiano has continued to lead from the front for the Whites, winning the Club World Cup, the Champions League, LaLiga, the European Super Cup and the Spanish Super Cup. Special praise should be reserved for the closing stages of last season which saw him net a dazzling 16 goals in 10 games to guide Zidane's team to La Duodécima and their 33rd LaLiga title."

On Wednesday, Ronaldo became the first player to score a goal in every group stage of the Champions League. He scored in the 12th minute Wednesday in Madrid's 3-2 win against Borussia Dortmund at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.

"We wanted to finish the group stage well, with a win," Ronaldo said, according to the team website. "The goal helped the team to win and it was nice, the record is also important and I'm very happy. But the most important thing was to get to the next stage because we want to win the Champions League again, I hope Real Madrid can win it for the third time."

Madrid hosts Sevilla at 10:15 a.m. Saturday in La Liga action at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.

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