Cristiano Ronaldo wins Ballon d’Or for fifth time

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Cristiano Ronaldo has won the Ballon d’Or for a fifth time to move level with rival Lionel Messi.

The Real Madrid forward was named the winner of France Football’s prestigious award at a ceremony in Paris on Thursday.

The award caps a year in which Ronaldo has won LaLiga, the Champions League and the Spanish Super Cup with Real Madrid, as well as helping Portugal qualify for the 2018 World Cup.

“I feel very happy, it’s a fantastic moment in my career, I’ve been waiting for this for a long time,” the 32-year-old said in the ceremony at the Eiffel Tower.

“This year has been great, we won the Champions League and LaLiga and, on a personal level, I was a top scorer in the Champions League.

“Trophies help win these awards and we have to thank my colleagues from Madrid and Portugal, it was very important for me.”

Messi, the only other player to have won the award since 2008, finished second in the voting while Neymar, who joined Paris St Germain in a world-record transfer deal this summer, was third.

Ronaldo previously won the award in 2008, 2013, 2014 and 2016.

Ronaldo and Messi stand alone with five wins, two ahead of the three managed by Michel Platini, Johan Cruyff and Marco van Basten.

The Portugal international has scored a total of 49 goals in all competitions for club and country, and became the first player in Champions League history to score in each of his club’s group-stage matches.

Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante was eighth in the voting, the highest-placed of the seven Premier League players nominated, with Tottenham’s Harry Kane 10th.

Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne was 14th, Chelsea playmaker Eden Hazard 19th and Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea 20th.

Liverpool pair Sadio Mane and Philippe Coutinho were 23rd and 29th respectively.

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