Cristiano Ronaldo wins Ballon d'Or 2016

Monday December 12th, 2016

Cristiano Ronaldo has won the 2016 Ballon d'Or, taking home the award for the third time in four years. 

Ronaldo won the prize after leading Real Madrid to a UEFA Champions League title and Portugal to an improbable Euro 2016 championship. Ronaldo scored the winning penalty kick for Real Madrid in the Champions League, and though he exited the Euro 2016 final against France early with an injury, he was integral to Portugal's march to the decisive game. 

The prize was awarded by France Football, which took over responsibility for the Ballon d'Or this year after six years under FIFA's management from 2010–2015. Before 2010, France Football oversaw the award, but it merged with FIFA World Player of the Year until this year. 

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi came in second place, while Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann came in third. Barcelona striker Luis Suarez came in fourth, followed by Barcelona forward Neymar in fifth. 

Ronaldo's teammate, Gareth Bale, came in sixth place. 

Ronaldo's latest Ballon d'Or is the fourth of his career. He previously won in 2008, 2013 and 2014. 

The forward called the Ballon d'Or a "great honor" in an interview, saying "the emotion is like the first one." 

Ronaldo, 31, has finished in first or second place in Ballon d'Or voting each of the last six years. Lionel Messi won last year's award. 

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.