Ron­aldo level with archri­val Messi with 5 Bal­lon d’Ors

The Trentonian (Trenton, NJ) - - SPORTS -

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.”

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