Cristiano Ronaldo won the Ballon d’Or for a fourth time on Monday night. He was able to beat Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann to world football’s top individual prize for 2016.
It is indeed a memorable year for Ronaldo as he wins the Champions League with Real Madrid and the European Championship with Portugal. Sports journalists from across the world voted to award Ronaldo his fourth Ballon d’Or in recognition of his remarkable achievements.
“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. 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,” Ronaldo said in accepting the award.
In a pre-recorded video, Ronaldo also expressed that this is the best year of his career. “I never thought in my mind to win it four times, so I’m so pleased, I’m so happy. I have to thank all my teammates, the national team, Real Madrid, all the people, all the players who helped me win this individual award.”
Ronaldo was picked from a list of 30 players by a group of international journalists selected by France Football. They have been giving such award for the past six years together with FIFA. Ronaldo is receiving the award a month after his contract with Madrid was extended until 2021.
Ronaldo also took home the Ballon d’Or prize in 2013 and 2014 and the FIFA award in 2008 while he was still playing for Manchester United.
Lionel Messi and Ronaldo are the only ones who have been voted the best in the world since 2007. Messi won a record fifth award last year.