Cristiano Ronaldo Wins 2016 Ballon D'Or On Real Madrid, Portugal Triumphs
Dec 13 2016
Cristiano Ronaldo has capped a memorable 2016 by being named the world's best player for a fourth time at tonight's Ballon d'Or ceremony in Paris.
Ronaldo is now one short of his La Liga rival Lionel Messi's record tally of five.
Ronaldo has now won just one less Ballon d'Or than 2015 victor Messi, whose Barcelona team beat Real Madrid to the Spanish La Liga title by one point.
"I never thought in my mind to win four times the Ballon d'Or, I'm so pleased and so happy".
6 - This is the sixth consecutive calendar year where Ronaldo has scored 50 goals or more.
"I am happy to be in the top three and I thank those who voted for me".
Impressively, a large number of these goals were scored while Ronaldo was nursing tendinitis in his knee - an injury so serious that he almost didn't make the Champions League final and was nearly ruled out of Euro 2016 entirely.
Ever the brilliant statesman, Ronaldo has said that "If Portugal or Real Madrid had not won, I would not have won this". Messi got 16 per cent of the votes, while Ronaldo's team mate Gareth Bale got 6 per cent. Luis Suarez got 9 per cent. Antoine Griezmann had just 5 per cent.
The 31-year-old, who was not there to collect the award in person due to Real Madrid's Club World Cup commitments, described his latest triumph as 'a dream come true'.
France Football and FIFA ended their agreement this year, separating men's soccer's two most coveted individual prizes once again. "This year was the best of my career, both at an individual and at team level".
Ronaldo, who has so far scored 48 goals in 52 games for club and country during 2016, was not able to accept the award in person with the forward now away in Japan as Real Madrid prepare for the FIFA Club World Cup. You can count on one hand the players who can do it, there are very few who can, and I do it year after year.
Ronaldo is with Real Madrid in Japan to play in FIFA's Club World Cup.