Ronaldo equals Messi’s Ballon d’Or record
PARIS. – Cristiano Ronaldo has beaten Lionel Messi to the 2017 Ballon d’Or off the back of Real Madrid’s La Liga and Champions League soccer double. The Portuguese forward enjoyed another stellar season at the Bernabeu in 2016/ 2017, netting 42 goals in 46 appearances in all competitions.
And his form was integral to Zinedine Zidane’s side securing glory in La Liga and the Champions League, their second successive success in Europe. Ronaldo has seen his performances for Real in 2017 recognised with a fifth Ballon d’Or award of his career going his way.
The top gong puts the former Manchester United star level with Barcelona and Argentina ace Messi, who’s finished second in France Football’s standings this year. Messi’s former Barcelona teammate Neymar, who joined Paris Saint-Germain in a world-record deal over the summer, has had to settle for third place.
Juventus and Italy veteran Gianluigi Buffon has been voted into fourth, with Ronaldo’s Real teammate Luka Modric rounding off the top five.
“I feel happy, it’s a great moment in my career. This is something I look forward to every year. Last year we had an amazing season in the Champions League and La Liga. I have to thank my teammates, Real Madrid and the rest of the people who helped me to be in great shape throughout the season,” said Ronaldo.
Brazilian legend Pele has showered the highest praise on Ronaldo following the Portuguese star’s fifth Ballon d’Or win. Ronaldo won the award for the World’s Best Footballer for the fifth time in Paris on Thursday night, beating Barcelona’s Messi and PSG’s Neymar who were second and third placed respectively.
And Pele took to twitter after the result was announced to offer his congratulations and compliment the Real Madrid superstar. He said, “Congratulations to Cristiano on winning this year’s Ballon d’Or. I would love to have played on the same side as you!”
Former Brazil striker Pele is widely regarded by many as one of the finest footballers of his generation and of all-time. The 77-year-old was part of three of Brazil’s World Cup winning sides and scored over 1 000 goals in his career.
Ronaldo’s former Manchester United teammate Rio Ferdinand also joined the plaudits as he tweeted his message of congratulations to Ronaldo and tagged it “The Best”. Ronaldo’s teammate Mateo Kovacic said earlier this week that Ronaldo warrants his latest award.
“For me, he deserves to win the Ballon d’Or because he’s had an incredible year. I’m very happy for him, the Ballon d’Or means a lot to him and to us, although the most important thing is that we win together as a team. I see Cristiano train every day and he is doing fine. He’s going to score a lot of goals this season. Right now the ball doesn’t want to go in for him, but there’s a long way to go and he’s going to start scoring again,” said Kovacic.
The margin of Ronaldo’s victory over Messi and Neymar has not yet been disclosed. Last year the 32-year-old collected 745 votes in comparison to Messi’s 316. The highest-placed English Premier League player was Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante, who was ranked eighth in the world. – The Daily Express.