Sports / Updates
Tuesday, 13 Dec 2016 13:38 EATtmatalanga@kenyafreepress.com
Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo beat rival and F.C Barcelona's Lionel Messi to win the prestigious Ballon d'Or for a fourth time with Atletico's French forward Antoine Griezmann finishing third in the vote. The Portuguese star helped Madrid win last season's Champions League and scored three goals as Portugal won Euro 2016. Ronaldo has now won the Ballon d'Or in 2008, 2013, 2014 and 2016. The talisman is now only one Ballon d'Or away from equaling rival Leo Messi who bagged his fifth Ballon d'Or in 2016.
"I never thought in my mind that I would win the Golden Ball four times. I am pleased. I feel so proud and happy. I have the opportunity to thank all of my team-mates, the national team, Real Madrid, all of the people and players who helped me to win this individual award," said Ronaldo. The former Manchester United forward has already scored 19 goals in 20 matches this campaign, to add to the 54 he got last season.
The Ballon d'Or is voted for by 173 journalists and has been awarded by France Football since 1956, but for the past six years it became the FIFA Ballon d'Or in association with world governing body and was awarded to the world's best player. However, FIFA ended its association with the award in September this year.
FIFA will hand out its own prize for the world's best men's, along with the best women's player and team of the year, at the Best FIFA Football Awards ceremony in Zurich on 9 January 2017.
Matalanga is a student of journalism at the East Africa School of Media Studies and an intern writer at the Kenya Free Press.