Ronaldo equals Messi with fifth Ballon d'Or, Harry Kane in top ten

The Portugese superstar picked up the award for the fifth time, the fourth in the last five years.

Ronaldo equals Messi with fifth Ballon d'Or, Harry Kane in top ten
Ronaldo pictured in action for Real (photo: Getty Images / Nur Photo)

Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid has won the Ballon d'Or for a fifth time, crowned as the prestigious award's 2017 winner on Thursday afternoon.

Ronaldo beat Lionel Messi, who came second, meaning that he's now level with the Argentine in terms of Ballon d'Or's won, the pair having scooped the last 10 combined. 

The latter half of 2017 has been fairly successful for Ronaldo as he helped his side through a tricky European group, but it was the first months of the year in which he really shone, helping Real to a second straight Champions League triumph and a first La Liga title since 2012.

"Thanks to my Real Madrid team-mates," he said after winning. "And I want to thank the rest of the people who helped me reach this level."

Neymar again a bridesmaid

Elsewhere, Neymar came in third in the year he completed a record breaking move to PSG. He'll be hoping to oust Ronaldo and Messi in the coming years, with personal aims such as winning the Ballon d'Or reportedly playing a key part in his decision to join the French side this summer.

It was a better year for England as Harry Kane continued his transition to a heavyweight in world football with a 10th placed finish.

N'Golo Kante is another success story that you often read about simply in books, his second straight Premier League title rewarded with eighth.

Other Premier League players Kevin de Bruyne, Eden Hazard, Sadio Mane and Philippe Coutinho helped round out the top 30. 

Who next?

After ten straight years of Messi and Ronaldo, there is a growing feeling that the stranglehold the pair have on the award may be slipping.

Whilst Messi and Ronaldo's brilliance was on show once more again in the last 12 months, the general feeling is that Ronaldo has managed to seal it based off Real Madrid's successes rather than his own.

Messi remains brilliant but his powers will surely fade in time, Neymar perhaps the man who will come through and become the first since Kaka in 2007 to take the award to Brazil.