Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo beats Lionel Messi to win Ballon d'Or
Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo won the Ballon d'Or for a fourth time on Monday night, beating Barcelona's Lionel Messi and Atletico Madrid's Antoine Griezmann to world football's top individual prize for 2016, APA reports quoting ESPN.
Ronaldo, who previously won the award in 2008, and in 2013 and 2014 when it was officially the FIFA Ballon d'Or, is only the second player to win it a total of four times, trailing only Messi's record of five.
The honour caps a memorable year that saw Ronaldo win the Champions League with Real Madrid and the European Championship with Portugal -- the country's first major footballing silverware.
Ronaldo, 31, has scored 51 goals in 54 games for club and country in 2016.
"It is a special moment. It means that all my sacrifice was worth it. I feel very happy to win this. I worked very hard," Ronaldo said in accepting the award.
"A lot of people helped me get here, and it is not easy to get here. You can count on one hand players who maintain this level year after year. I am one of them, and that is a source of pride for me."
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