Real Madrid and Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo on Thursday night pipped Barcelona’s talisman Lionel Messi to win the 2017 Ballon d’Or.
The number 7 picked up his fifth Ballon d’Or award to equal Messi’s record and bring the pair’s duopoly of the award to a staggering 10 years.
The 32-year-old was the top-scorer in last season’s Champions League as Real successfully defended the trophy with victory over Juventus in June, and also led the Spanish giants to their first La Liga title in five years.
“Of course I feel happy. This is something I look forward to every year,” Ronaldo said at the ceremony at the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
“The trophies won last year helped to win this award. Thanks to the Real Madrid team-mates. And I want to thank the rest of the people who helped me reach this level.”
Ronaldo, who also won the FIFA Men’s Player of the Year award in October, added the 2017 Ballon d’Or to his previous wins in 2008, 2013, 2014 and 2016.
The prestigious France Football magazine award is decided upon by a journalists’ ballot, with each naming a top five from a list of 30.
Kaka was the last player other than Ronaldo or Messi to win the prestigious individual gong all the way back in 2007.