Cristiano Ronaldo wins 5th Ballon dOr award as best player

PARIS (AP) — Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo has won the Ballon d’Or award as soccer’s best player of the year for a record-equaling fifth time, moving him level with Barcelona star Lionel Messi.

Ronaldo won the trophy awarded by France Footballl magazine at a ceremony at the Eiffel Tower today. He finished ahead of contenders Messi and Neymar, who left Barcelona in the offseason to join Paris Saint-Germain for a world record transfer fee of 222 million Euros ($262 million).

Ronaldo was shown on television receiving the award while making the sign of five with his left hand as held the trophy in his right. Messi was runner-up behind him and Neymar was third.

“Of course, I feel happy, it’s a big moment in my career,” Ronaldo said. “It’s something I hope to win every year.”

The 32-year-old Portugal forward also took home the Ballon d’Or prize in 2013 and 2014, and in 2008 when playing for Manchester United.

Messi won it from 2009-12 and again in 2015.

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