Ronaldo beats Messi to win fifth Ballon d’Or

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Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo beat Barcelona’s Lionel Messi to win the Ballon d’Or award for the fifth time – and the second year in a row.

Victory took the 32-year-old Portugal international level with 30-year-old Argentine Messi, who won the most recent of his five awards in 2015.

Messi’s ex-Barcelona team-mate Neymar, now at Paris St-Germain, was third.

Last season, Ronaldo helped Real Madrid win the Champions League and their first La Liga title since 2012.

“This is something I look forward to every year,” he said.

“Thanks to my Real Madrid team-mates. And I want to thank the rest of the people who helped me reach this level.”

Ronaldo, who also won the FIFA Men’s Player of the Year award in October, added the 2017 Ballon d’Or to his previous wins in 2008, 2013, 2014 and 2016.

The prestigious France Football magazine award is decided upon by a journalists’ ballot, with each naming a top five from a list of 30.

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