Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo has once again won one of the most prestigious prizes in football the Ballon d’Or 2017, for the fifth time to equal Barcelona forward Lionel Messi’s record.
The 2016-17 season saw Ronaldo guide Madrid to La Liga and Champions League glory, having also moved past 600 career goals and on Thursday evening Ronaldo was in Paris to collect his prize at the foot of the Eiffel Tower in a glitzy ceremony.
The 32-year-old beat competition from the 29 other nominees to win the award, which is voted for by a group of 173 journalists.
Messi finished runner-up for the second consecutive year, 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.
Last month Ronaldo was named the Best FIFA Men’s Player in the global soccer body’s own awards ceremony.
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.
In his speech Ronaldo revealed that his rivalry with Messi is what motivates him to reach greater heights.
‘I hope to play at a high level for a few more years,’ Ronaldo said when asked about rival Messi. ‘Let’s have the fight continue in a good way. He will do his best for his club and his national team.
‘And I will do my best for Real Madrid and my national team. So let’s see at the end of the day who is better and see who at the end of the year what collective awards we win and what the people voted.
‘Of course, I feel happy. It’s a big moment in my career,’ Ronaldo said. ‘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.’