Ronaldo level with archrival Messi with 5 Ballon d’Ors
PARIS » 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 offseason to join Paris SaintGermain for a world record transfer fee of 222 million Euros ($262 million), was third.
Overall, Messi has a very slight edge.
The 30-year-old Messi has been runner-up to Ronaldo on each of his wins.
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.
Ronaldo was shown on television receiving his latest award Thursday while making the sign of five with his left hand as held the trophy in his right.
“Of course, I feel happy, it’s a big moment in my career,” Ronaldo said. “It’s something I hope to win every year.”