With fourth Ballon d'Or award, Cristiano Ronaldo ends 2016 on a high

"For me it's a great honour to receive my fourth Ballon d'Or. The emotion is like the first one - it's a dream come true again," Ronaldo, who is at the Club World Cup in Japan, told L'Equipe TV. "I never thought in my mind to win four times the Ballon d'Or, I'm so pleased and so happy. "I have to thank all my team-mates, the national team, Real Madrid, all the people, the players who helped me to win this individual trophy.

With fourth Ballon d

For Portugal and Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo  2016 could not hoped for a  better ending. He bagged his  fourth Ballon d'Or award pipping Lionel Messi for the best player in the world  of the  year ,  won the Champions League for the second time in three seasons and then led his national team Portugal to their first major title at Euro 2016 - albeit he went off early injured and in tears in the surprise victory over France. It ended his long jinx of national glory.


As has been the case for almost a decade now, the 31-year-old's main rival was Messi - but the Barcelona and Argentine maestro had to relinquish the crown after a less-than-stellar year for club and country by his lofty standards. Ronaldo is now one Ballon d'Or behind Messi, who was second this time with French striker Antoine Griezmann third.

Never one to play down his achievements, Ronaldo was spotted midweek in training having dyed his hair gold in anticipation and several media outlets published a photo earlier on Monday appearing to confirm he was the winner, before organisers France Football magazine made the official announcement.

"For me it's a great honour to receive my fourth Ballon d'Or. The emotion is like the first one - it's a dream come true again," Ronaldo, who is at the Club World Cup in Japan, told L'Equipe TV.
"I never thought in my mind to win four times the Ballon d'Or, I'm so pleased and so happy.
"I have to thank all my team-mates, the national team, Real Madrid, all the people, the players who helped me to win this individual trophy.

"I want to enjoy this moment because it's not easy to win this." Fourth was Luis Suarez and fifth his fellow Barcelona attacker Neymar, with Ronaldo's Welsh team-mate Gareth Bale sixth.
Ronaldo was the firm favourite to win, but the prestigious prize comes at a time when the prolific forward has generated negative headlines in the past week over accusations of tax evasion.