Cristiano Ronaldo wins Ballon d’Or for the 4th time

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Cristiano Ronaldo

MNA Sports Desk: Cristiano Ronaldo has won the Ballon d’Or award for the fourth time, capping a season in which his Portugal side won Euro 2016 and his club, Real Madrid, took the Champions League.

Ronaldo is now one short of the record tally of five awards won by Barcelona’s Argentina forward Lionel Messi.

“For me it’s a great honour to receive my fourth golden ball. The emotion is like for the first one, it’s a dream come true again. I never thought in my mind to win four times. I’m so happy,” said Ronaldo, who won the award in 2008, 2013 and 2014.

“I take the opportunity to thank all my team mates, from the national team and for Real Madrid. I feel so proud and happy.”

The Ballon d’Or, which merged with the FIFA World Player of the Year award from 2010-15 to create the FIFA Ballon d’Or, returned to France Football magazine this year.

A total of 173 journalists voted but not national team coaches and captains who were also polled for the FIFA award.

List of Ballon d’Or winners since the award’s inception in 1956 after Cristiano Ronaldo was named 2016 winner:

1956 – Stanley Matthews (England)

1957 – Alfredo Di Stefano (Spain)

1958 – Raymond Kopa (France)

1959 – Alfredo di Stefano (Spain)

1960 – Luis Suarez (Spain)

1961 – Omar Sivori (Italy)

1962 – Josef Masopust (Czechoslovakia)

1963 – Lev Yashin (Soviet Union)

1964 – Denis Law (Scotland)

1965 – Eusebio (Portugal)

1966 – Bobby Charlton (England)

1967 – Florian Albert (Hungary)

1968 – George Best (Northern Ireland)

1969 – Gianni Rivera (Italy)

1970 – Gerd Mueller (West Germany)

1971 – Johan Cruyff (Netherlands)

1972 – Franz Beckenbauer (Germany)

1973 – Johan Cruyff (Netherlands)

1974 – Johan Cruyff (Netherlands)

1975 – Oleg Blokhin (Soviet Union)

1976 – Franz Beckenbauer (West Germany)

1977 – Allan Simonsen (Denmark)

1978 – Kevin Keegan (England)

1979 – Kevin Keegan (England)

1980 – Karl-Heinz Rummenigge (West Germany)

1981 – Karl-Heinz Rummenigge (West Germany)

1982 – Paolo Rossi (Italy)

1983 – Michel Platini (France)

1984 – Michel Platini (France)

1985 – Michel Platini (France)

1986 – Igor Belanov (Soviet Union)

1987 – Ruud Gullit (Netherlands)

1988 – Marco van Basten (Netherlands)

1989 – Marco van Basten (Netherlands)

1990 – Lothar Matthaeus (Germany)

1991 – Jean-Pierre Papin (France)

1992 – Marco van Basten (Netherlands)

1993 – Roberto Baggio (Italy)

1994 – Hristo Stoichkov (Bulgaria)

1995 – George Weah (Liberia)

1996 – Matthias Sammer (Germany)

1997 – Ronaldo (Brazil)

1998 – Zinedine Zidane (France)

1999 – Rivaldo (Brazil)

2000 – Luis Figo (Portugal)

2001 – Michael Owen (England)

2002 – Ronaldo (Brazil)

2003 – Pavel Nedved (Czech Republic)

2004 – Andriy Shevchenko (Ukraine)

2005 – Ronaldinho (Brazil)

2006 – Fabio Cannavaro (Italy)

2007 – Kaka (Brazil)

2008 – Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)

2009 – Lionel Messi (Argentina)

2010 – Lionel Messi (Argentina) *

2011 – Lionel Messi (Argentina) *

2012 – Lionel Messi (Argentina) *

2013 – Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) *

2014 – Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) *

2015 – Lionel Messi (Argentina) *

2016 – Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)

( * From 2010-2015 the Ballon d’Or was merged with the FIFA World Player of the Year to create the FIFA Ballon d’Or award.)