Ronaldo wins 5th Ballon d'Or, equals Messi

A decade of dominance as the world's two best soccer players has left Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi level with five Ballon d'Or awards each.

 

Despite once trailing 4-1 to his longtime rival, Ronaldo moved level after winning the award again on Thursday.

"With Messi the fight continues, in a good way," Ronaldo said after being presented the trophy awarded by France Football magazine at a ceremony held at the Eiffel Tower.

Messi was second in the voting and Neymar, who left Barcelona in the off season to join Paris Saint-Germain for a world record transfer fee of 222 million Euros ($262 million), was third.

Ronaldo wins his fifth Ballon d'Or

Overall, Messi has a slight edge.

The 30-year-old Messi has been runner-up to Ronaldo on each of his wins.

COMPARISON: Messi v Ronald: Who had the better year?

Ronaldo has been runner-up to Messi four times, with the exception being when midfielder Andres Iniesta - Messi's brilliant club teammate - finished second in 2010 after scoring the winner for Spain in the World Cup final.

Ronaldo did not make the podium that year, with Barcelona and Spain midfielder Xavi taking third place.

He has bounced back to win the last two.

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 - with Ronaldo runner-up three times during the period - and in 2015 ahead of Ronaldo and Neymar.

Ronaldo claimed it back last year after helping Portugal win the European Championship and starring for Madrid as it won the Champions League.

He set another competition record on Wednesday, scoring in Real Madrid's 3-2 win over Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday to become the first player to find the net in all six group-stage matches.

Veteran goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon was fourth on France Football's list. The 39-year-old Italian helped Juventus reach the Champions League final and win the Italian title for the sixth straight season.

Croatia midfielder Luka Modric and Spain defender Sergio Ramos - both Ronaldo's teammates - were fifth and sixth respectively.

Teenage star Kylian Mbappe finished seventh after helping Monaco win the French title and reach the Champions League semi-finals. He joined Neymar at PSG this season.

Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante, Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski and Tottenham striker Harry Kane completed the top 10.

The Ballon d'Or is voted for by 173 journalists worldwide.

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