Real Madrid and Portugal soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo won his fourth Ballon d’Or prize, given to the best player in the world each year. The prize came after an excellent year, which included a Champions League victory with Real Madrid and a first European Championship with Portugal.

Ronaldo claims fourth Ballon d'Or prize

Ronaldo claims fourth Ballon d’Or prize Photo credit: Reuters/ Channel 2 News

Ronaldo’s achievement narrows the gap from his rival Lionel Messi in terms of Ballon d’Or victories with the Argentinian holding 5 Ballon d’Or prizes to his 4. Over the past 9 years, the prize given by the French soccer magazine France Football was only shared between the 2 stars.

The second place was won by Messi, the third place by Atlético Madrid player Antoine Griezmann, the fourth place by Barcelona player Luis Suárez and the fifth place was also given to Barcelona superstar Neymar Júnior.

This year, Ronaldo attained the record for most performances for the Portugal national team (136) and equaled the record for European Championship goals scored (9). His previous victories were in 2008, 2013 and 2014.  

Winning the European Championship with Portugal

Winning the European Championship with Portugal Photo credit: Reuters/ Channel 2 News

Ronaldo was not present at the ceremony as he is preparing for the Club World Cup with his team in Japan. However, he still reacted to the good news. “I never thought in my mind that I would win the Golden Ball four times,” he said. “I am pleased. I feel so proud and happy. I have the opportunity to thank all of my team-mates, the national team, Real Madrid, all of the people and players who helped me to win this individual award.”