Paris (AFP) – Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo won a record-equalling fifth Ballon d’Or award for the year’s best player on Thursday.
The Real Madrid forward’s second successive win drew him level alongside Barcelona rival Lionel Messi on five Ballon d’Ors, after beating the Argentinian and Brazilian Neymar.
The 32-year-old was the top-scorer in last season’s Champions League as Real successfully defended the trophy with victory over Juventus in June, and also led the Spanish giants to their first La Liga title in five years.
“Of course I feel happy. This is something I look forward to every year,” Ronaldo said at the ceremony at the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
“The trophies won last year helped to win this award. Thanks to the Real Madrid team-mates. And I want to thank the rest of the people who helped me reach this level.”
Ronaldo, who also won the FIFA Men’s Player of the Year award in October, added the 2017 Ballon d’Or to his previous wins in 2008, 2013, 2014 and 2016.
The prestigious France Football magazine award is decided upon by a journalists’ ballot, with each naming a top five from a list of 30.