Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo has won the Ballon d’Or for the fourth time ahead of Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann.

The 31 year-old scored 51 goals in 54 game in 2016, winning the Champions League with Real Madrid and the European Championship with Portugal in the process.

Reacting to the honour, the Portuguese who was unavoidably absent at the ceremony which took place today in Zurich as his side travelled to Japan to prepare for the Club World Cup said, “It is a special moment. It means that all my sacrifice was worth it. I feel very happy to win this. I worked very hard,” Ronaldo said in accepting the award.

“A lot of people helped me get here, and it is not easy to get here. You can count on one hand players who maintain this level year after year. I am one of them, and that is a source of pride for me.”

He continued, “This has been the best year of my career from both a team and individual level. “To win the title for Portugal was what was left to achieve on my résumé, and it was one of the most important moments. But to win Champions League as well with Real Madrid was huge.

“It is a huge honour to win the Ballon d’Or. I am very happy. This is a dream come true, and it is the fourth time. I feel very proud. This win is for my teammates in both the club and the national team. It is incredible to earn this trophy again.”