Cristiano Ronaldo reclaims Ballon d'Or from Messi

Already a UEFA Champions League and UEFA EURO 2016 winner this year, Cristiano Ronaldo has won the Ballon d'Or for a fourth time, finishing ahead of Lionel Messi.


Cristiano Ronaldo has crowned a memorable year by being voted the winner of the Ballon d'Or.

The Portuguese star, who won the UEFA Champions League with his club before captaining Portugal to a first international trophy at UEFA EURO 2016, collected 745 votes from a poll of journalists, with Lionel Messi (316) second and Antoine Griezmann (198) third.

Ronaldo won the Ballon d'Or in 2008 and also claimed the FIFA Ballon d'Or in 2013 and 2014, finishing second to Messi in 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2015; the Argentinian was runner-up in 2008, 2013 and 2014.

"It's a huge honour for me to receive my fourth Ballon d'Or," said Ronaldo. "The emotions are the same as for the first one. It's another dream come true. I never imagined I'd win this trophy four times. I'm so pleased and happy."

Ronaldo scored 16 times – one short of his own competition record – as Real Madrid won an 11th European Cup in May. He added three more in France as Portugal lifted the title, although he was forced off by injury early on in the final win against the hosts.

In total, the 31-year-old has managed 38 goals for Madrid and 13 for his country in 2016, and is also among the nominees for the Users' Team of the Year.

Does Ronaldo make your Team of the Year?

Ronaldo? Griezmann? Messi? Who makes your 2016 XI?
Ronaldo? Griezmann? Messi? Who makes your 2016 XI?

Last nine awards*
2008 – Ronaldo
2009 – Messi
2010 – Messi
2011 – Messi
2012 – Messi
2013 – Ronaldo
2014 – Ronaldo
2015 – Messi
2016 – Ronaldo

Ronaldo: Why 2015/16 was my best season
Ronaldo: Why 2015/16 was my best season

All-time Ballon d'Or successes*
5 – Lionel Messi
4 – Cristiano Ronaldo
3 – Michel Platini     
3 – Johan Cruyff     
3 – Marco van Basten

France Football magazine has given the award every year since 1956; the past six editions – four won by Messi, two by Ronaldo – have been known as the FIFA Ballon d'Or, but football's world governing body is no longer associated with the prize. The last player other than Messi or Ronaldo to win the award in either guise was Kaká in 2007.

*Statistics include the merged FIFA Ballon d'Or award.