Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo has beaten FC Barcelona talisman Lionel Messi to the 2017 Ballon d'Or, equalling his longstanding rival's Golden Ball record.
The 32-year-old was the favourite to lift the award after his heroics for Real during the 2016/17 season, in which he lifted the UEFA Super Cup, FIFA Club World Cup, La Liga and UEFA Champions League titles.
The Portuguese missed his side's 3-2 UEFA Super Cup final triumph over Sevilla at the beginning of the season due to injury, but gained form at the Club World Cup, where he was voted Player of the Tournament after finishing as its top goalscorer.
Overall, Ronaldo scored 42 goals and assisted another 12 strikes in all competitions for Zinedine Zidane's side and was particularly influential in the latter stages of the campaign, netting 10 goals in the Champions League knockout stages to help Real become the first side to defend the title.
His six goals over the last five gameweeks of the 2016/17 La Liga campaign also helped Los Blancos clinch their first league title since 2012, and only Ronaldo's second since moving to the Santiago Bernabeu.
Real's all-time record scorer, who was named FIFA's The Best Men's Player in October, has now officially drawn level with Messi's Ballon d'Or tally.
Ronaldo has now lifted five Golden Balls – the Ballon d'Or in 2008, 2016 and this year, as well as the FIFA Ballon d'Or (as the award was known between 2010 and 2015 when FIFA and France Football handed the accolade for the World Footballer of the Year out together) in 2013 and 2014.
Messi, meanwhile, won the Ballon d'Or in 2009 and the FIFA Ballon d'Or in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2015.
Last year, FIFA and France Football ended their collaboration for the prestigious, and are now once again handing out separate awards. Since 2004, the winner of the Ballon d'Or was also named FIFA's The Best Men's Player of the Year.
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