Ronaldo tops them

by

December 13, 2016
AQP FILE - In this Monday, January 13, 2014 file photo, Real Madrid's Christiano Ronaldo of Portugal holds the trophy for world player of the year at the FIFA Ballon d'Or 2013 Gala.

MADRID (AP):

After giving a European Championship title to Portugal and another Champions League trophy to Real Madrid, Cristiano Ronaldo ends the year with something just for himself, his fourth world player of the year award.

Ronaldo yesterday won his third Ballon d'Or award, which this year is being handed out by France Football magazine separately from FIFA. Ronaldo also took home the Ballon d'Or prize in 2013 and 2014, and the FIFA award in 2008 while still playing for Manchester United. The Portugal forward is also in contention for FIFA's prize this year, along with Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann.

Only Ronaldo and Messi have been voted the best in the world since 2007, when Kaka won the prize. Messi won a record fifth award last year.

"For me it's a great honour to receive my fourth golden ball," Ronaldo said in a pre-recorded video. "I never thought in my mind to win (it) four times, so I'm so pleased, I'm so happy. I have to thank all my teammates, the national team, Real Madrid, all the people, all the players who helped me win this individual award."

The 31-year-old Ronaldo was picked from a list of 30 players by a group of international journalists selected by the French magazine, which for the previous six years awarded the coveted prize in partnership with FIFA. FIFA which relies on the votes of coaches, team captains, journalists and for the first time an online poll of fans, will be handing out its own award in January.

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