Cristiano Ronaldo beats Lionel Messi to fifth Ballon d’Or

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.

Ronaldo added the 2017 Ballon d’Or to those he won in 2008, 2013, 2014 and 2016, and Messi is the only other recipient of the award since 2009.

“This is something I look forward to every year,” “Thanks to my Real Madrid team-mates. And I want to thank the rest of the people who helped me reach this level.”

HOW THE 30-MAN SHORTLIST FINISHED IN VOTING

1. Cristiano Ronaldo – Real Madrid

2. Lionel Messi – Barcelona

3. Neymar – Paris Saint-Germain

4. Gianluigi Buffon – Juventus

5. Luka Modric – Real Madrid

6. Sergio Ramos – Real Madrid

7. Kylian Mbappe – Paris Saint-Germain

8. N’Golo Kante – Chelsea

9. Robert Lewandowski – Bayern Munich

10. Harry Kane – Tottenham

11. Edinson Cavani – Paris Saint-Germain

12. Isco – Real Madrid

13. Luis Suarez – Barcelona

14. Kevin De Bruyne – Manchester City

15. Paulo Dybala – Juventus

16. Marcelo – Real Madrid

17. Toni Kroos – Real Madrid

18. Antoine Griezmann – Atletico Madrid

19. Eden Hazard – Chelsea

20. David De Gea – Manchester United

21. Leonardo Bonucci – Juventus

21. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – Borussia Dortmund

23. Sadio Mane – Liverpool

24. Radamel Falcao – Monaco

25. Karim Benzema – Real Madrid

26. Jan Oblak – Atletico Madrid

27. Mats Hummels – Bayern Munich

28. Edin Dzeko – Roma

29. Dries Mertens – Napolo

29. Philippe Coutinho – Liverpool