In a glitzy ceremony at the Eiffel Tower Cristiano Ronaldo has been awarded the 2017 Ballon d’Or 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
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.’
Later, Ronaldo was joined by his mother Maria Dolores dos Santos Aveiro and son Cristiano Ronaldo Jr on stage 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 the seventh consecutive year where the superstars have occupied the top two positions in Ballon d’Or voting.
Ronaldo was then joined on stage by his mother Maria Dolores dos Santos Aveiro and son Cristiano Ronaldo Jr on Thursday
Ronaldo was dramatically unveiled as the 2017 winner as the camera zoomed in on the Real Madrid man holding the trophy
The camera drew closer and closer to Ronaldo who was standing on the Eiffel Tower which was lit up for the occasion
Georgia Rodriguez posted this photo of her with Ronaldo clutching the award following the glitzy ceremony in Paris
Neymar, who became the world’s most expensive player when he joined Paris Saint-Germain from Barcelona for £198million in August, came third. Juventus’ veteran goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon finished fourth.
The Premier League’s highest placed player was Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante who finished eighth while Tottenham striker Harry Kane just sneaked into the top 10.
The rest of the English-based players in voting were Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne (14th), Chelsea’s Eden Hazard (19th), Manchester United’s David De Gea (20th) and Liverpool duo Sadio Mane (22nd) and Philippe Coutinho (joint-29th).
Ronaldo’s Madrid team-mates were also in the running, with Luka Modric and Sergio Ramos finishing fifth and sixth respectively. Isco (12th), Marcelo (16th), Toni Kroos (17th) and Karim Benzema (25th) rounded off Los Blancos’ seven nominations for the award.
PSG sensation Kylian Mbappe finished seventh in the voting at just 18 years of age. The French striker announced himself to the world while playing Monaco during the 2016-17 campaign.
Ronaldo scored 42 goals in all competitions last season including a brace in the 4-1 Champions League final victory over Juventus in May, which saw Madrid become the first team ever to successfully defend the title.
(L-R top-bottom) Ronaldo with his 2008, 2013, 2015, 2016 and (main photo) holding the 2017 Ballon d’Or award in Paris
Ronaldo and Lionel Messi greet each other at the FIFA’s The Best awards ceremony in London back in October
Ronaldo posted a photo to his Instagram of himself boarding his private jet as he flew to Paris for the ceremony
It is the latest individual award handed to Ronaldo after he was named FIFA’s The Best men’s player in London in October beating Messi and Neymar to the prize.
Ronaldo accrued 946 points in the voting system, which sees journalists select their first, second and third-placed selections.
However the ceremony comes during a period when Ronaldo is struggling to recapture his best league form for Madrid with just two La Liga goals in 10 appearances so far this season.
Ronaldo’s form in Europe has been much better in contrast and he became the first man to net in all six Champions League group stage games when he scored for Madrid in their 3-2 win over Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday.
Ronaldo and Messi have dominated the award over the past decade, sharing it for the past 10 seasons ever since AC Milan’s Brazilian midfielder Kaka won ahead of the pair at the 2007 ceremony.
Messi’s Ballon d’Ors came in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2015 while Ronaldo has been more dominant in recent seasons by winning four of the last five awards to add to his 2008 triumph.
His fifth award means he is tied with Messi for most wins, with two more than any other player in history.
Ronaldo poses with his four Ballon d’Or awards before Real Madrid’s match against Granada at the Bernabeu back in January
Ronaldo’s mother posted a selfie captioned: ‘Ready for another trip to Paris’ as she prepared to travel for the 2017 ceremony
Michael Platini, Johan Cruyff and Marco van Basten were both awarded the gong three times – under it’s previous incarnation the European Footballer of the Year award.
Ronaldo had earlier flown with his family to Paris for the award ceremony as he posted a photo of himself boarding his personalised private jet.
His mother Maria Dolores dos Santos Aveiro and girlfriend Georgina Rodriguez had both taken to Instagram to document their journey to the French capital.
There were hints earlier in the day that Ronaldo would win as a new pair of boots from his sponsor Nike were leaked suggesting he would come out on top for a fifth time.
The boots are white and gold and contained the dates in which Ronaldo has won the individual gong – 2008, 2013, 2014 and 2016, with 2017 preemptively also included among the years. They were also named ‘Quinto Triunfo’ – meaning fifth triumph.
Ronaldo’s girlfriend Georgina Rodriguez posed for an Instagram photograph on the private plane as the family flew to Paris
Ronaldo became the first man to score in all six Champions League group matches on Wednesday against Borussia Dortmund