Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo picked up his fifth Ballon d’Or award on Thursday night in a glittering ceremony in Paris. The Portuguese star is now level with arch-rival Barcelona’s Lionel Messi.
The 32-year-old picked up the award after guiding Los Blancos to Spanish title for the first time in five years. Ronaldo also helped Zinedine Zidane’s team to retain the Champions League trophy.
Ronaldo played a key role in Los Blancos 12th European Cup triumph, scoring hat-tricks against both Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid in the latter stages of the competition. The Portuguese international then added a brace in a 4-1 final victory over Italian giants Juventus.
Ronaldo scored an incredible 42 goals in 46 goals in all competitions for the men from the Spanish capital. Last season’s goal tally was actually his second worse since joining the Spanish champions.
The aforementioned Messi finished in second place, just as he did last season when Ronaldo claimed the award. Meanwhile, Messi’s former Barcelona teammate took third spot for the second time in two years.
Winner Ronaldo was understandably happy over his victory saying afterwards: “I feel happy, it’s a great moment in my career,”
“This is something I look forward to every year. Last year we had an amazing season in the Champions League and La Liga.
“I have to thank my team-mates, Real Madrid and the rest of the people who helped me to be in great shape throughout the season.”
Premier League represented
Seven Premier League players made the 30-player shortlist. Chelsea’s defensive midfielder N’Golo Kante finished the highest by taking eighth spot. Tottenham’s Harry Kane finished in tenth spot after yet another prolific campaign for the team from north London.
The other Premier League players named on the 30-player list were Kevin De Bruyne, Eden Hazard, Sadio Mane, David De Gea and Philippe Coutinho.
Will Cristiano Ronaldo win a sixth Ballon d’Or in 2018?