Cristiano Ronaldo called it "a dream come true again" as he won his fourth Ballon d'Or on Monday to get one over his nemesis Lionel Messi for the title of best player in the world. He is only the second player in history to win it a total of four times, trailing only Messi's record of five.
This year France Football took back sole control of the prize, first awarded to England and Blackpool's Stanley Matthews in 1956, meaning votes were the responsibility of a select number of journalists across Europe, rather than global captains and coaches.
"I take the opportunity to thank all my team mates, from the national team and for Real Madrid".
The result was not a surprise after France Football leaked a copy of the magazine with Ronaldo on the cover with the Ballon d'Or trophy.
Cristiano Ronaldo has been named victor of the Ballon d'Or by France Football magazine for a fourth time on Monday.
However, Fifa ended its association with the award in September. Soccer's governing body, which relies on the votes of coaches, team captains, journalists and - for the first time - an online poll of fans, will be handing out its own award in January.
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"When I win a prize of this importance, I say 'Cristiano, it was worth working so hard during year, doing things that you didn't do before'".
The Real superstar first won the award in 2008 after Premier League and Champions League triumphs with Manchester United, but it's not until 2013 when he added his second.
Ronaldo is receiving the Ballon d'Or award a month after his contract with Madrid was extended until 2021, keeping him in Spain until he is 36 years old. "That makes me very proud".
Ronaldo scored 51 goals in all competitions for Madrid last season, while he netted three at the European Championship in France. "To win the title for Portugal was what was left to achieve on my resume and it was one of the most important moments".
Ronaldo is with Real Madrid in Japan to play in FIFA's Club World Cup. "I am one of them, and that is a source of pride for me".
It capped a successful 2016 for Ronaldo, who captained Portugal to its first major worldwide honor at the European Championships in France.