Cristiano Ronaldo has officially scooped his fourth Ballon d’Or award as he shook off competition from arch rival Lionel Messi and Athletico Madrid star Antione Griezmann.
However, it was widely expected to see the Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi come second and Antione Griezmann in the third position
Does this surprise anyone?
It was no surprise as the Portuguese international won the 2016 European Championship and Uefa Champions League in a much fancied season of his career and snatch the award from Lionel Messi who has won the prestigious award five times.
Ronaldo statement after receiving the award….
“It was an unforgettable year, possibly the best of my career on both a collective and individual level,” he said upon being presented with the accolade, Marca reports.
“To achieve something with Portugal was one of the most important moments of my life, without forgetting the Champions League that I won with Real Madrid, in which I was the top goalscorer, plus I was crowned the best scorer in Europe.
“Real Madrid are used to winning the Champions League, they have 11, but Portugal had never won a major trophy.
“I must respect the Champions League, which is an impressive trophy, but I appreciate more the trophy I won with Portugal, which was a step higher.
“When I win a prize of this importance, I say ‘Cristiano, it was worth working so hard during the year, doing things that you didn’t do before …’
“I can’t express what I feel, but I feel joy because I worked hard.
“This is for the people that have faith in me, my teammates, my family, the people who work for me, help me to improve and maintain my level year after year.
“You can count on the fingers of one hand the players who maintain their level year after year, there’s very few of them. I’m one of them, and it fills me with pride.
“It’s always a different emotion, but it doesn’t mean that the feeling isn’t the same. The first one was a joy, a dream come true.
“I was 23 or 24 years and it was a unique moment in my life. What I feel today is similar to 2008.
“It’s my job, my profession and I really sacrifice myself. When you win something, it’s important that I put the team first. If Real Madrid and Portugal didn’t win anything, I couldn’t win this award.
“Real Madrid is the club of my heart and winning it with them is very similar to when I won it with Manchester United.
“With 11 European cups, two of which I’ve won, it’s a perfect scenario.”
Full Ballon d’Or standings
1 Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid, Portugal)
2 Lionel Messi (Barcelona, Argentina)
3 Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid, France)
4 Luis Suarez (Barcelona, Uruguay)
5 Neymar (Barcelona, Brazil)
6 Gareth Bale (Real Madrid, Wales)
7 Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City, Algeria)
8 Jamie Vardy (Leicester City, England)
9=. Pepe (Real Madrid, Portugal)
9= Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus, Italy)
11 Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Borussia Dortmund, Gabon)
12 Rui Patricio (Sporting, Portugal)
13 Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Paris Saint-Germain/Manchester United, Sweden)
14= Arturo Vidal (Bayern Munich, Chile)
14= Paul Pogba (Juventus/Manchester United, France)
16 Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich, Poland)
17= Dimitri Payet (West Ham, France)
17= Luka Modric (Real Madrid, Croatia)
17= Toni Kroos (Real Madrid, Germany)