Cristiano Ronaldo Wins 4th Ballon D'Or
To the surprise of virtually no-one, Cristiano Ronaldo won the Ballon D'or as the best male soccer player for 2016. This was his fourth Ballon D'or leaving him just one behind his long time rival Lionel Messi, who he beat out for this year's award.
Ronaldo was a lock to win the title this year after a hugely successful season, winning the Champions League final by scoring the winning penalty kick, and for helping Portugal win it's first senior championship by taking home the European Cup hosted in France last summer.
Many critics were claiming that Ronaldo was too old to continue producing at the pace of previous seasons, but he's already scored 10 goals in 11 La Liga matches this season. In fact, the Portuguese player has scored an unbelievable 48 goals in 52 matches for club and country this year. Ronaldo clearly silenced all the doubters by having arguably the best season of his career.
Ronaldo's main competition was Argentine, Lionel Messi, whose Barcelona team managed to beat out Real Madrid to win the La Liga title by one point. However, Barcelona crashed out of the UEFA Champions League quarterfinal to Atletico Madrid, and Messi's national team, Argentina, lost to Chile in the final of the Copa America, which all but wrapped up the award for Ronaldo.
Ronaldo and Messi have now combined to win the last nine Ballon D'or awards. Ronaldo has won four, and Messi has won five. There is little doubt that these are the two best players in the world at the moment and over the last decade.
The Portuguese star was not able to attend the ceremony as he is currently in Japan with his club team Real Madrid for the FIFA Club World Cup, looking to add another trophy to his impressive collection.
"For me it's an unbelievable moment, I'm so proud, so happy," he said in a pre-recorded interview. "Thank you to everyone who voted for me. Thank you to my teammates ... Portugal national team, and this trophy's for Real Madrid."
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