Ronaldo Wins Ballon d’Or For Fourth Time

The legendary Cristiano Ronaldo has won the world’s highest accolade for a footballer for the fourth time.

Real Madrid striker Ronaldo picked up the Ballon d’Or as the best footballer.

He has won in 2008, 2013, 2014 and 2016 but still lags his great rival, Barcelona striker Lionel Messi, who has collected the prize five times.

Messi was runner-up this year with French forward Antoine Griezmann of Atletico Madrid taking third place.

“I never thought in my mind that I would win the Golden Ball four times. I am pleased. I feel so proud and happy,” said Ronaldo, 31.

The Portuguese international star scored vital goals last season to help Real Madrid lift the Champions League trophy and fired his national team to win the Euro 2016 championship.

Record breaker

Ronaldo started his career in Portugal before signing for Manchester United in 2003 at the age of 18.

After winning the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League, Ronaldo moved to Real Madrid in 2009 for the then world record transfer fee of £106 million. In Madrid, he has won national league and cup titles and two more Champions League titles.

Ronaldo also holds records for scoring the most goals in the Champions league in a season – 17 in 2013-14 and for clocking up 200goals in La Liga in the fewest games – 178 matches.

On the international stage, Ronaldo is Portugal’s captain and most capped player after turning out in 130 matches.

He was the first Portuguese player to score 50 international goals and is the country’s record scorer. Ronaldo is also the top scorer at the Euro Championships, having notched 23 goals.

Outside football

Outside of football, Ronaldo lives on the Portuguese island of Madeira, where he was born.

He has a son who aspires to become a goalkeeper. Although romantically linked with his agent’s daughter and socialite Alessia Tedesshi.

Ronaldo is a single father and has refused to comment on rumours about his sexual preferences throughout his career.

The Ballon d’Or is the most prestigious individual award in world football.

The first winner was Sir Stanley Matthews in 1956 and the hall of fame since then includes greats such as Michel Platini, Denis Law, George Best and John Cruyff.