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

 
Frank Dalleres
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Ronaldo has helped Real win four trophies this year (Source: Getty)

Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo toasted a year of extraordinary success with the Spanish club after he drew level with rival Lionel Messi by receiving a fifth Ballon d’Or.

Ronaldo, 32, retained the award for the world’s best player after he beat Barcelona star Messi into second place in the poll of leading journalists organised by France Football magazine.

World’s most expensive player Neymar was third. Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante was the highest-ranked Premier League player at eighth, with Tottenham striker Harry Kane the leading Englishman in 10th place.

Read more: As good as Ronaldo? Here's how Southgate rates Kane

“This is something I look forward to every year,” said Ronaldo, who has helped Real to four trophies including the Champions League in 2017.

“The trophies won last year helped to win this award. Thanks to the Real Madrid team-mates. And I want to thank the rest of the people who helped me reach this level.”

Ronaldo and Messi, 30, have occupied the top two spots in the Ballon d’Or for nine of the last 10 editions.

This week the Portugal star reached his latest individual milestone when he became the first player to score in all six matches of the Champions League group stage.

Veteran Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, who is due to retire at the end of this season, was fourth, ahead of Real pair Luka Modric and Sergio Ramos.

Teenage France sensation Kylian Mbappe was seventh.

Read more: Ronaldo targets fifth Ballon d'Or award after latest crowning

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