Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo has capped off another memorable year by winning the Ballon d'Or for a fifth time, equalling the all-time record of Lionel Messi.
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Cristiano Ronaldo has won the Ballon d'Or for a fifth time, equalling the all-time record of Lionel Messi.
The Real Madrid forward collected 946 points, with Messi (670) second and Neymar (361) third.
Ballon d'Or top ten
1 Cristiano Ronaldo
2 Lionel Messi
4 Gianluigi Buffon
5 Luka Modrić
6 Sergio Ramos
7 Kylian Mbappé
8 N'Golo Kanté
9 Robert Lewandowski
10 Harry Kane
The award caps another memorable year for Ronaldo. He won the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Super Cup, Spanish Liga, Spanish Super Cup and could yet end up with the FIFA World Club Cup – Madrid begin their defence in one week.
The 32-year-old also helped European champions Portugal book a FIFA World Cup spot, his tally of 15 goals bettered only once in European Qualifiers. He has already collected the UEFA Best Player in Europe Award and Best FIFA Men's Player prize this season.
"I feel very happy, it's a fantastic moment in my career," said Ronaldo. "I've been waiting for this for a long time. This year has been great. Trophies help win these awards and we have to thank my colleagues from Madrid and Portugal, it was very important for me. I hope to play at this level for a few more years. I hope the battle with Messi continues; things happen for a reason."
Ronaldo previously won the Ballon d'Or in 2008, 2013, 2014 and 2016, finishing second to Messi in 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2015; the Argentinian was runner-up in 2008, 2013, 2014 and 2016.
Ronaldo in 2017
UEFA club competition
Appearances: 14 (13 UEFA Champions League, one Super Cup)
Goals: 19 (all UEFA Champions League)
TOTAL: 48 goals in 54 appearances (0.88 goals per game)
Last ten awards*
All-time Ballon d'Or wins*
5 Lionel Messi
= Cristiano Ronaldo
3 Michel Platini
= Johan Cruyff
= Marco van Basten
France Football magazine has given the award every year since 1956. Between 2010 and 2015 it known as the FIFA Ballon d'Or – four won by Messi, two by Ronaldo – 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 merged FIFA Ballon d'Or award