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Ronaldo Beats Messi To Fourth Ballon D’Or Crown

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Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo has won the Ballon d’Or award for the fourth time in his career, after a memorable year with both club and country to be named the best player in the world.

The 31-year-old won the Champions League with Real for the second time in three seasons and then led Portugal to their first major title at Euro 2016. He scored 48 goals in 52 games for club and country in 2016.

Ronaldo is now one Ballon d’Or behind his main rival Messi, who was second this time with French striker Antoine Griezmann in third.

“A great honour to receive my fourth golden ball,” Ronaldo said upon receiving the award at the Bernabéu.

“The emotion is like the first one. It’s the dream come true again. I never thought in my mind to win the golden ball four times so I’m so pleased and happy.

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“I have the opportunity to thank all my team-mates, the national team, Real Madrid, all the people and players who helped me to win this individual award. So as you can imagine, I feel so proud and happy to receive this amazing and beautiful ball.”

Real beat Atlético in May to become European champions for a record 11th time, with Ronaldo playing a crucial role. Two months later Portugal triumphed at Euro 2016 in France to lift a major trophy for the first time.

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The 31-year-old had previously won the Ballon d’Or in 2014, when it had been merged with the Fifa World Player of the Year accolade.

Ballon d’Or list:

1 – Cristiano Ronaldo

2 – Lionel Messi

3 – Antoine Griezmann

4 – Luis Suárez

5 – Neymar

6 – Gareth Bale

7 – Riyad Mahrez

8 – Jamie Vardy

9= – Pepe

9= – Gianluigi Buffon

11 – Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

12 – Rui Patricio

13 – Zlatan Ibrahimovic

14= – Arturo Vidal

14= – Paul Pogba

16 – Robert Lewandowski

17= – Dimitri Payet

17= – Toni Kroos

17= – Luka Modric