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Cristiano Ronaldo claims fourth Ballon d’Or

Spain Soccer Champions League

Real Madrid Cristiano Ronaldo smiles during a training session at the Valdebebas camp ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League soccer match between Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund, in Madrid, Spain, Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016 . (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)


In an announcement with little drama, Cristiano Ronaldo has been named the Ballon d’Or recipient as the best player in the world for 2016.

Surely spurred by his club and country double, the Real Madrid and Portugal star has edged one award closer to rival Lionel Messi’s five.

Ronaldo won in 2008, 2013, 2014, while Messi won in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2015.

Kaka is the last different name to win the award, claiming it in 2007 in AC Milan. He’s now with Orlando City of Major League Soccer.

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France Football‘s award was the Ballon d’Or until 2010, when it merged with FIFA’s World Player of the Year Award. This year, France Football again presents the Ballon d’Or again, while FIFA will award its own offering on Jan. 9.

There will be some guffaws in the Leicester City dressing room, as 7th place Riyad Mahrez beat Jamie Vardy by one place.

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba finished tied for 14th, a spot behind current teammate Zlatan Ibrahimovic, while Dimitri Payet of West Ham finished in a tie for 17th.

Names 2-5 were not released but Messi and Antoine Griezmann were widely tipped for 2 and 3 (in some order). Neymar and Luis Suarez would likely be the other two.

  1. Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)
    6. Gareth Bale (Real Madrid)
    7. Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City)
    8. Jamie Vardy (Leicester City)
    9. Gigi Buffon (Juventus), Pepe (Real Madrid)
    11. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Borussia Dortmund)
    12. Rui Patricio (Sporting CP)
    13. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Manchester United/PSG)
    14. Paul Pogba (Manchester United/Juventus), Arturo Vidal (Bayern Munich)
    16. Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)
    17. Toni Kroos (Real Madrid), Dimitri Payet (West Ham), Luka Modric (Real Madrid)

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