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Wednesday 28 June 2017

Ronaldo set for another Ballon d'Or

Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo is expected to crown a memorable year by being named the world's best player for a fourth time tonight.

The Ballon d'Or ceremony will be held in Paris while Ronaldo is thousands of miles away in Japan, ahead of Club World Cup duty for Real Madrid.

But Ronaldo is expected to pick up the main award after a remarkable year even by his own high standards. Real beat city rivals Atletico Madrid in May to become European champions for a record-extending 11th time, with Ronaldo once more playing a crucial role.

Two months later Portugal triumphed at Euro 2016 in France to claim a major trophy for the first time.

Ronaldo has scored 48 goals in 52 games for club and country in 2016.

The 31-year-old has previously won the Ballon d'Or three times, the last in 2014 when it had been merged with the FIFA World Player of the Year accolade.

Ronaldo is expected to beat Antoine Griezmann and Lionel Messi to the award.

Griezmann finished as top scorer at Euro 2016, where Les Bleus were defeated by Portugal in the final, and also helped take Atletico to the Champions League final.

Messi, meanwhile, will be looking to repeat his success of 2015 when he again beat Ronaldo to the individual title, which was a fourth since 2010 and fifth overall.

The Argentinian playmaker, 29, helped guide Barcelona to another domestic league and cup double in 2015-16, scoring 41 goals in all competitions.

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