Cristiano Ronaldo on Thursday night won his fifth Ballon d’Or award in Paris and the Real Madrid forward took to social media to thank his family and teammates for helping him achieve the record-equalling feat.
Arch-rival and Barcelona forward Lionel Messi, who is the only player to have five ‘Golden Balls’ to his name, came in second while Paris-Saint Germain winger Neymar placed third.
The Ballon d’Or is an annual award presented by France Football magazine since 1956 to crown the world’s best player.
FIFA, football’s governing body had merged their own accolade (FIFA World Player of the Year) with the Ballon d’Or between 2010-15.
Since 2016, FIFA decided to go on their own and have their prize, The Best FIFA Men’s Player award, which Ronaldo has won the last to years on the trot.
Ronaldo won his first ‘Golden Ball’ in 2008 with Premier League side Manchester United but then had to wait for five years before he could win his next one as Messi surged ahead with with four wins back-to-back.
The Portuguese would lift the Ballon d’Or in 2013 and 2014 before Messi lifted his fifth in 2015 and since then, Ronaldo has won two in a row to remain level with his great rival.
It’s been a rewarding year for Ronaldo, who not only helped Real Madrid to become the first team in UEFA Champions League history to defend their title in the 2016-17 season, but also fired them to their first La Liga trophy in five years.
While Ronaldo couldn’t match last year’s historic Euro 2016 triumph with Portugal, the 32-year-old was in decent form for his national side as the Iberians finished a creditable third in the 2017 Confederations Cup and the 32-year-old was integral to his nation’s qualification for the 2018 FIFA World Cup as well.
And to seemingly clinch his fifth ‘Golden Ball’, Ronaldo starred as Los Blancos thumped eternal rivals Barcelona in the Spanish Super Cup. The Portuguese forward also set a record on Wednesday night when he became the first player in UEFA Champions League history to score in all six group-stage games. Currently, the 32-year-old tops the scoring charts with nine goals from six games.