Cristiano Ronaldo crowned a memorable year as he emerged the winner of 2016 Ballon d’Or for the fourth time in his career.
The 31-year-old Portugal and Real Madrid forward topped the poll of 173 journalists worldwide.
Cristiano Ronaldo played a crucial role as Real Madrid beat city rivals Atletico Madrid in May to become European champions for a record-extending 11th time.
However, 2 months later, Portugal triumphed at Euro 2016 in France to claim a major trophy for the first time – despite losing their talisman to injury early on in the final.
C. Ronaldo, who has so far scored 48 goals in 52 games for club and country during 2016, was not able to accept the award in person with the forward currently away in Japan as Real prepare for the FIFA Club World Cup.
The 31-year-old has previously won the Ballon d’Or 3 times, the last in 2014 when it had been merged with the FIFA World Player of the Year accolade.
Argentina and Barcelona’s Lionel Messi finished 2nd in this year’s competition, with Atletico Madrid and France’s Antoine Griezmann 3rd.
Commenting on his triumph, Ronaldo said: “I never thought in my mind to win four times the Golden Ball, so I am so pleased and so happy.
“I have the opportunity to thank all of my team-mates, the national team, Real Madrid, all of the people and players who helped me to win this individual award.
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Congrats to Cristiano Ronaldo.