Ronaldo wins Ballon D’or award for a fourth time.

Cristiano Ronaldo

Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo beat rival Lionel Messi to win the prestigious Ballon D’or award for a fourth time.

The 31-year-old is now one behind Barcelona’s Messi, who took the honour for a fifth time last year.

Atletico Madrid’s French forward Antoine Griezmann finished third in the vote.

Ronaldo helped Real Madrid win last season’s Champions League and scored three goals as Portugal won Euro 2016.

“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.

“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.”

He has now won the Ballon D’or in 2008, 2013, 2014 and 2016, with Messi the only other recipient of the award since winning it for the first time in 2009.

The award, which this year was handed out by France Football magazine separately from Fifa, moves him clear of the three‑times winners Marco van Basten, Michel Platini and the late Johan Cruyff. Ronaldo’s Real Madrid team-mate Gareth Bale, who helped drive Wales to the Euro 2016 semi-finals, was voted in sixth place during the ceremony in Zurich.

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

The players to receive no votes were: Sergio Agüero, Kevin De Bruyne, Paulo Dybala, Diego Godín, Gonzalo Higuaín, Andres Iniesta, Koke, Hugo Lloris, Thomas Müller, Manuel Neuer and Sergio Ramos.

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