Ronaldo has previously won the award in 2008, 2013 and 2014.
Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo has won the Ballon d’Or for a fourth time, beating Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann to this year’s edition of the prestigious award.
Ronaldo has previously won the award in 2008, 2013 and 2014, thus making him only the second player to win it a total of four times, bettered only by Messi’s record of five.
This year, Ronaldo won the UEFA Champions League with Real Madrid and the European Championship with Portugal – the country’s first major footballing silverware.
‘It is a special moment. It means that all my sacrifice was worth it. I feel very happy to win this. I worked very hard,’ Ronaldo said in accepting the award.
‘A lot of people helped me get here, and it is not easy to get here. You can count on one hand players who maintain this level year after year. I am one of them, and that is a source of pride for me.’
Ronaldo, 31, has scored 51 goals in 54 games for club and country in 2016.
‘This has been the best year of my career from both a team and individual level,’ Ronaldo said. ‘To win the title for Portugal was what was left to achieve on my resume and it was one of the most important moments. But to win the Champions League as well with Real Madrid was huge.’
‘It is a huge honour to win the Ballon d’Or. I am very happy. This is a dream come true and it is the fourth time. I feel very proud. This win is for my teammates in both the club and the national team. It is incredible to earn this trophy again.’
Messi, 29, who has won the award in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2015, won La Liga and the Copa del Rey with Barcelona and helped Argentina to the Copa America Centenario final in 2016.
Griezmann on his part had helped France reach the final of Euro 2016 and also played an important role for Atletico as they reached the Champions League final, which they lost on penalties to Real.
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