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Cristiano Ronaldo wins fifth Ballon d'Or to equal Lionel Messi record

Cristiano Ronaldo has equalled Lionel Messi's record of five Ballon d'Or awards after claiming the 2017 prize in Paris.

Cristiano Ronaldo first won the Ballon d'Or in 2008

Cristiano Ronaldo has equalled Lionel Messi's record of five Ballon d'Or awards after claiming the 2017 prize in Paris.

Ronaldo led Real Madrid to a record 12th Champions League trophy in June, scoring hat-tricks against Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid in the quarter and semi-finals and a double in the 4-1 win over Juventus in the final.

Messi, who recently signed a new contract to stay at Barcelona until 2021, finished runner up for the second consecutive year despite currently outscoring Ronaldo by three goals in the calendar year (52-49).

Ronaldo has now won the Ballon d'Or five times - moving level with Lionel Messi

The world's most expensive player, Neymar, had been tipped to take the award by compatriot Philippe Coutinho, but came third for the second time in three years.

"I feel happy, it's a great moment in my career," said Ronaldo, who was unveiled on the Eiffel Tower. "This is something I look forward to every year. Last year we had an amazing season in the Champions League and La Liga.

"I have to thank my team-mates, Real Madrid and the rest of the people who helped me to be in great shape throughout the season."

N'Golo Kante (eighth) finished highest of the seven Premier League players named in the final 30-player shortlist, with Harry Kane coming 10th.

Harry Kane was the highest-ranked English player in the Ballon d'Or list

Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne was placed 14th in the final list, while Chelsea's Eden Hazard (19th) and Manchester United's David De Gea (20th) were just a place apart.

Liverpool pair Sadio Mane (23rd) and Philippe Coutinho (joint-29th) were also in the top 30.

First given to Sir Stanley Matthews in 1956, the coveted Ballon d'Or prize is presented by weekly football magazine France Football, with Ronaldo taking the prize for the first time as a Manchester United player in 2008.

Since then only Ronaldo or Messi has won the annual award.

Ballon d'Or winners since 2007

2007Kaka
2008Cristiano Ronaldo
2009Lionel Messi
2010Lionel Messi
2011Lionel Messi
2012Lionel Messi
2013Cristiano Ronaldo
2014Cristiano Ronaldo
2015Lionel Messi
2016Cristiano Ronaldo
2017Cristiano Ronaldo

Ronaldo, whose Real Madrid side also pipped Barcelona to the La Liga title last season, was already named FIFA Best Men's Player for a second consecutive year at a separate awards ceremony in October.

Ballon d'Or or FIFA Best?

The Best award was created after FIFA's partnership with France Football ended in 2015. The Ballon d'Or is now picked solely by a panel of journalists, while the Best result is a combination of votes from national coaches and players, an online ballot and 200 media representatives.

The forward has recently come under criticism for scoring just two goals in 10 games in the Spanish top flight this season, with Real Madrid eight points behind Barcelona.

Congratulations to @Cristiano on winning this year's Ballon d'Or. I would love to have played on the same side as you! // Parabéns ao @Cristiano por conquistar o Ballon d'Or este ano. Eu adoraria ter tido a chance de jogar ao seu lado! #BallondOr

— Pelé (@Pele) December 7, 2017

Real Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane called for critics to show more "respect" to Ronaldo, who set yet another Champions League record by scoring in Real Madrid's 3-2 win over Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday to become the first player to find the net in all six group-stage matches.

Ronaldo is the all-time leading scorer in the Champions League with 115 goals.

Ballon d'Or 2017 final rankings

1Cristiano Ronaldo
2Lionel Messi
3Neymar
4Gianluigi Buffon
5Luka Modric
6Sergio Ramos
7Kylian Mbappe
8N'Golo Kante
9Robert Lewandowski
10Harry Kane
11Edinson Cavani
12Isco
13Luis Suarez
14Kevin De Bruyne
15Paulo Dybala
16Marcelo
17Toni Kroos
18Antoine Griezmann
19Eden Hazard
20David De Gea
21Leonardo Bonucci and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
23Sadio Mane
24Radamel Falcao
25Karim Benzema
26Jan Oblak
27Mats Hummels
28Edin Dzeko
29Philippe Coutinho and Dries Mertens

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