Cristiano Ronaldo wins again! After taking home the Champions League and Euro 2016 trophy, the Real Madrid star now has a new award: the 2016 Balloon d’Or! Despite efforts from his rival, Lionel Messi, it was Ronaldo who was crowned the best soccer player in the world!
Though many were up for the award, realistically, this contest for the Ballon d’Or came down to two men (who happened to be the best soccer players in the world): Cristiano Ronaldo, 31, and Lionel Messi, 29. So, when France Football finally revealed the winner, none were surprised that it was Cristiano who stood tall.
After all, Cristiano had led Real Madrid and Portugal’s national team to a pair of significant victories. Los Blancos claimed the 2015-16 Champions League title, while Portugal took home the Euro 2016 trophy. With Cristiano heading both teams, it makes perfect sense that he would win his fourth Ballon d’Or.
— France Football (@francefootball) December 12, 2016
This is a total shock – well, not really. The cat was let out of the bag early, as a report from Mundo Deportivo claimed that Ronaldo had secured this year’s honor. Some wondered if Messi or Luis Suarez, 29, — who finished the 2015-16 La Liga season as the top scorer – could unseat Ronaldo. Plus, the early edition of France Football spoiled the surprise, as the cover of the magazine showed Ronaldo with trophy in hand. Whoops!
For those who need a refresher: the Ballon d’Or is an annual soccer award presented by France Football. It first began in 1956 and continued until 2009, when it merged with the FIFA World Player of the Year award, creating the FIFA Ballon d’Or. In 2015, after Messi won his fourth FIFA Ballon d’Or, the two awards separated.
Cristiano won his first non-FIFA Ballon d’Or in 2008 when he was playing for Manchester United. The next year, Messi would win, and the two have traded the award, back-and-forth, for the past eight years. In 2015, Messi won the award after scoring more than 40% of the votes. Cristiano came in at a distant second, only garnering 27% of the support from the 173 sports journalists who decide the winners. Clearly, after the season Cristiano had, the sports world thought that no one else was more worthy of taking home the gold. Congratulations, Ronaldo!
What do you think about the 2016 Ballon d’Or winner, HollywoodLifers? Do you think the right soccer star won?