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Ronaldo beats Messi to fifth Ballon d’Or

Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo won the fifth Ballon d’Or of his career yesterday, matching Lionel Messi as the most-awarded winner of one of the sport’s top individual honours.

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Ronaldo won the award for the second consecutive time after a year that saw him help Madrid to a third Champions League crown in four seasons and a first La Liga title in five years, as well as the FIFA Club World Cup.

The 32-year-old scored twice as Madrid beat Juventus 4-1 in the Champions League final in June, while also finishing top scorer in the competition with 12 goals.

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Ronaldo beat fellow finalists Messi and Neymar for the award. He previously won in 2008, 2013, 2014 and 2016, while Messi won the award four straight times from 2009-12 as well as in 2015.

This season, Ronaldo became the first player in history to score a goal in each of the six Champions League group games, when he netted Madrid’s second against Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday night.

The goal took him to 114 career goals in 146 Champions League games, another of his personal records, but his wider form has been a cause for concern this season.

Although he has scored nine goals in the Champions League, he has only managed two goals and two assists in 10 La Liga appearances, with Madrid eight points behind La Liga leaders Barcelona after 14 games.

But Ronaldo, who welcomed his fourth child last month, told L’Equipe last month that he’s eager to win two more Ballons d’Or, saying: “I want seven children and as many Ballons d’Or. As long as I play, I’ll have the ambition to win all I can.

“So, my dream is the fifth Ballon d’Or. And, next year, there will be another one to look for.”

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