Cristiano Ronaldo has been awarded the 2017 Ballon d’Or in a glitzy ceremony at the Eiffel Tower as the Real Madrid superstar clinched the gong for a fifth time by finishing ahead of Lionel Messi and Neymar.
Ronaldo is now level with Messi on five Ballon d’Ors following a 2016-17 season in which he won the Champions League and La Liga double with Real Madrid.
The 2017 winner was unveiled in a dramatic video which slowly zoomed in on a sparkling Eiffel Tower to reveal Ronaldo standing on the podium and holding up the trophy.
Cristiano Ronaldo has won the Ballon d’Or for a record-equalling fifth time in a glamorous ceremony in the French capital
Ronaldo was unveiled as the winner of the Ballon d’Or award as the superstar stood on a podium attached to the Eiffel Tower
Former Ballon d’Or winners Ronaldo Luis Nazario and Michael Owen were at the ceremony to congratulate Ronaldo
‘Of course, I feel happy. It’s a big moment in my career,’ Ronaldo said upon being presented with the award for the fifth time
Ronaldo also showed his lighthearted side, joking about wanting seven children when asked for his Christmas wishlist
BALLON D’OR TOP 10
1. Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)
2. Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
3. Neymar (PSG)
4. Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus)
5. Luka Modric (Real Madrid)
6. Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid)
7. Kylian Mbappe (PSG)
8. N’Golo Kante (Chelsea)
9. Robert Lewandowski (Bayern)
10. Harry Kane (Tottenham)
And after being presented with the award, Ronaldo vowed to ‘let the fight continue’ between himself and Messi as they battle for future Ballon d’Ors.
‘I hope to play at a high level for a few more years,’ Ronaldo said when asked about rival Messi. ‘Let’s have the fight continue in a good way. He will do his best for his club and his national team.
‘And I will do my best for Real Madrid and my national team. So let’s see at the end of the day who is better and see who at the end of the year what collective awards we win and what the people voted.’
‘Of course, I feel happy. It’s a big moment in my career,’ Ronaldo said. ‘It’s something I hope to win every year. Thanks to my Real Madrid team-mates. And I want to thank the rest of the people who helped me reach this level.’
Ronaldo also showed his lighthearted side, joking when asked what he wanted for Christmas: ‘Another baby… no it’s a joke, we’re going to enjoy the four of us – I want seven Gold Balls and seven children.’
Ronaldo was later joined on stage by his mother Maria Dolores dos Santos Aveiro and son Cristiano Ronaldo Jr as his girlfriend Georgina Rodriguez watched on from the audience.
Former Tottenham and Newcastle star David Ginola presented the show in Paris, with the Brazilian Ronaldo providing assistance, and handed the award over at the glamorous ceremony in the French capital.
Ronaldo came out on top in the ceremony as organisers France Football revealed the 32-year-old beat competition from the 29 other nominees to win the award, which is voted for by a group of 173 journalists.
Barcelona’s Messi finished as runner-up to Ronaldo in…