sports

Ronaldo presents fifth Ballon d’Or to Bernabeu

Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo with his five Ballon d’Or trophies before the match against Sevilla at the Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid, Spain, December 9, 2017. ― Reuters picReal Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo with his five Ballon d’Or trophies before the match against Sevilla at the Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid, Spain, December 9, 2017. ― Reuters picMADRID, Dec 9 ― Cristiano Ronaldo paraded his record-equalling fifth Ballon d’Or to an adoring Santiago Bernabeu before Real Madrid’s clash with Sevilla today.

Ronaldo pulled level on Thursday with Barcelona rival Lionel Messi as the only two men to have won the annual award for the best player in the world five times.

It is the fourth time in five years Ronaldo has beaten Messi to the prize. This time he did it on the back of Madrid’s feat of becoming the first side to retain the Champions League since 1990.

And the 85,000 crowd at the Bernabeu serenaded the Portuguese with chants of "Cristiano, Ballon d’Or" as he posed for photos with all five of his golden ball trophies.

A total of seven Madrid players were included in the top 30 for the prestigious award handed out by France Football magazine.

However, Real had to cope today without suspended captain Sergio Ramos, who came sixth in the voting, among a host of defensive absences as they strove to move to within five points of Barcelona at the top of La Liga. ― AFP

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