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Ronaldo thrilled to equal Messi's record of five Ballon d'Or titles


By Robert Jones

Cristiano Ronaldo has won the Ballon d'Or for a fifth time to move level with rival Lionel Messi.

The Real Madrid forward was named the winner of France Football's prestigious award at a ceremony in Paris yesterday.

The award caps a year in which Ronaldo won La Liga, the Champions League and the Spanish Super Cup with Real, as well as helping Portugal qualify for the 2018 World Cup. He scored a total of 49 goals in all competitions.

"I feel very happy, it's a fantastic moment in my career, I've been waiting for this for a long time," the 32-year-old said at the ceremony at the Eiffel Tower. "This year has been great, we won the Champions League and La Liga and I was a top scorer in the Champions League.

"Trophies help win these awards and I thank my colleagues at Madrid and Portugal."

Messi, the only other player to have won the award since 2008, finished second in the voting while Neymar was third.

Ronaldo previously won the award in 2008, 2013, 2014 and 2016.

Ronaldo and Messi stand alone with five wins, two ahead of the three managed by Michel Platini, Johan Cruyff and Marco van Basten.

Chelsea's N'Golo Kante was eighth in the voting, the highest placed of the seven Premier League players nominated, with Tottenham's Harry Kane 10th.

Man City's Kevin de Bruyne was 14th, Chelsea playmaker Eden Hazard 19th and Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea 20th. Liverpool pair Sadio Mane and Philippe Coutinho were 23rd and 29th respectively.

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