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Cristiano Ronaldo Crowned Ballon d’Or 2016 Winner

After claiming the biggest trophies and breaking countless records in the previous year, Ronaldo has been voted the Ballon d’Or 2016 Winner – his fourth overall.

(Image credit: Real Madrid Twitter)

As is customary for the past nine years, Ronaldo’s arch-rival Lionel Messi was second in line for the prestigious gong – who has won the accolade on five occasions – but after failing to win any major silverware with either Barcelona or the Argentine national side last season, voters rightfully decided the Ballon d’Or 2016 winner should go to none other than the Portuguese.

“It’s a really great honour to have won my fourth Ballon d’Or,” commented the 31-year-old. “I’m very happy and proud to be receiving this award and I want to thank everyone who works with me and my Real Madrid and Portugal teammates.”

Read the full interview transcript on Read Madrid’s official site.

Ronaldo has led Real Madrid to win their unprecedented 11th Champions League title last campaign, after defeating cross-town rivals Atletico Madrid on penalties in the final at San Siro. In the process, he has recorded his sixth straight season in which he bagged more than 50 goals across all competitions, thus becoming the only player in the history of the sport with such a feat.

The 2015/16 season also saw him break and set further records which only reaffirmed his mission to become the Ballon d’Or 2016 winner. Ronaldo surpassed Real Madrid legend Raul as the club’s all-time leading goalscorer – which now stands at 376 goals (as of December 13, 2016) – while currently he also holds the record for most goals scored in the Champions League, with 96 strikes.

On top of all his goalscoring exploits, Ronaldo captained Portugal to their first-ever major trophy by clinching the Euro Cup against hosts France in the final. Although he missed most of the final through injury that was sustained as a result of a harsh tackle by Dimitri Payet, Ronaldo greatly overshadowed the Portuguese manager Fernando Santos with his fervent gesticulating and instructions towards the players on the pitch. Some might even credit the Portugal victory to Ronaldo himself, thanks to his presence alone.

Therefore, it’s no surprise the all-conquering Portuguese has been crowned the Ballon d’Or 2016 winner, but we’re predicting that Messi will get the next one – which would be his sixth – after Ronaldo seems to have suffered a dip in form in the new campaign. At this stage, the Argentine already has 22 goals in 19 appearances overall, while Ronaldo is ‘only’ on 12 goals from 17 games this season – these stats stand in stark contrast to his previous seasons, especially considering that he’s only managed two goals in six Champions League appearances, as opposed to Messi’s 10 goals in 5 outings in the competition thus far.

Barcelona are the favourites 3/1 (4.00) to win the Champions League this campaign, while Bayern Munich 7/2 (4.50) and Real Madrid 9/2 (5.50) are underdogs for their sixth and twelfth titles respectively.

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If the Ballon d’Or 2016 winner gets back to his goalscoring form that sees him find the back of the more than 50 times per season, Real Madrid’s chances of defending their European title may significantly improve, considering his massive influence on the team’s performance.

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About the author

Mark-Antonio Zivic used to be a professional footballer that won a record six Champions League medals... but decided to quit the game in his prime, believing he was better than both Ronaldo and Messi. Now he spends his time brainstorming ideas for Betting Herald, before he ventures into Hollywood movies, rubbing shoulders with Daniel Day-Lewis and Sofia Vergara.