Ronaldo wins fifth Ballon d’Or award

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 09 Dec 2017 09:57:41


 

PARIS,

PORTUGUESE star Cristiano Ronaldo won a record-equalling fifth Ballon d’Or award for the year’s best player.
The Real Madrid forward’s second successive win drew him level alongside Barcelona rival Lionel Messi on five Ballons d’Or, after the Argentinian took second in the vote, with Brazilian Neymar third.


The 32-year-old was the top-scorer in last season’s Champions League as Real successfully defended the trophy with victory over Juventus in June, and also led the Spanish giants to their first La Liga title in five years.
“Of course I feel happy. This is something I look forward to every year,” Ronaldo said at the ceremony at the Eiffel Tower in Paris.


“The trophies won last year helped to win this award. Thanks to my Real Madrid team-mates. And I want to thank the rest of the people who helped me reach this level.”
Ronaldo, who also won the FIFA Men’s Player of the Year award in October, added the 2017 Ballon d’Or to his previous wins in 2008, 2013, 2014 and 2016.
He scored 42 goals in all competitions for Real last season, and also netted 15 times in European World Cup qualifying.
Ronaldo will lead Portugal at next year’s World Cup in Russia as he looks to add football’s greatest title to the 2016 European Championship win, when the Portuguese beat hosts France in the final.


Messi and Ronaldo have now shared the last 10 Ballons d’Or since the latter’s first win after leading Manchester United to the 2007-08 Champions League title.
“I hope to play at this level for a few more years, I hope the battle with Messi continues, things happen for a reason,” he added.
“I feel good this season and we’ll see what we win at the end of the year.”


When asked if he would like to finish his career at the Santiago Bernabeu, Ronaldo said: “I’m happy at Real Madrid, I want to stay there... If possible.”
Neymar settles for third again
The prestigious France Football magazine award, which was first won by Englishman Stanley Matthews in 1956, is decided upon by a journalists’ ballot, with each naming a top five from a list of 30.


It was a replica first two from 2016, which was the first year after FIFA ended its association with the Ballon d’Or and restarted its own Player of the Year award. Neymar will be hoping to take over the mantle of 32-year-old Ronaldo and Messi, 30, in the coming years after coming third for the second time, having finished fifth last year.


Ronaldo is greatest player ever, says Zidane


AFTER seeing Cristiano Ronaldo pick up a fifth Ballon d’Or, Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane described the Portuguese forward as the greatest player ever.
“Yes. His numbers speak for it, both in terms of what he has done and what’s still to come,” Zidane said when asked if he felt his number seven was the best of all time.
“I want him here forever. He’s really happy in Madrid and he’ll finish his career here, he said it himself. There’s no more words you can use to describe Cristiano. What he does is phenomenal.


“A player could come here, spend 20 years playing in this side and still not achieve what he’s done. I hope he continues making history here until he retires.” Winner of the prestigious award himself in 1998 after leading France to World Cup glory, Zidane was deferential when quizzed on his own achievements compared to those of Ronaldo.
“I was definitely better!” he jokingly told a news conference. “You know what I think, he’s miles better, but I didn’t have a bad career either.”