Cristiano Ronaldo Ballon d'Or - CR7's Most Illustrious Award Collection

Cristiano Ronaldo Ballon d’Or – CR7’s Most Illustrious Award Collection

Cristiano Ronaldo Ballon d’Or – CR7’s Most Illustrious Award Collection

Did you know that Ronaldo has an entire museum in Madeira to showcase the awards and accolades he has earned in his life since the beginning of his career as a soccer player? Among these awards, one of the most illustrious is the FIFA Ballon d’Or. And Ronaldo has four of these, making him the European soccer player with the highest number of Ballon d’Or awards, and the international player with the second-highest number of the FIFA honour.

Ronaldo was only 22 when he received his first Ballon d’Or award nomination, and by the time he was 23, he had already won his first Ballon d’Or. In 2007, Ronaldo became the contender for the award, and became the runner-up to Kaka.  His first Ballon d’Or came in 2008 for helping Manchester United to win the FIFA Club World Cup in Japan, with the winning shot against Liga de Quito. He thus became the first MUFC Ballon d’Or winner since George Best in the year 1968.

Cristiano Ronaldo Ballon d’Or – CR7’s Most Illustrious Award Collection

Cristiano Ronaldo Ballon d'Or - CR7's Most Illustrious Award Collection

In 2009, he was named the runner-up to his biggest rival, Lionel Messi, in the running for the FIFA accolade. In the next season, he scored 11 amazing goals in 6 back-to-back matches – three La Liga matches and one Champions League match for Real Madrid, as well as two international matches for Portugal. He even went on to score hat-tricks in matches against Athletic Bilbao, Levante, Villarreal, and Málaga. However, he could not make it to the podium for the Ballon d’Or in 2010.

In 2011-12, Ronaldo surpassed his own goals, and scored 60 goals in all competitions! This time, he became the runner-up to Messi for the Ballon d’Or. Again, for 2012, Ronaldo finished right behind the Barcelona star, who, by now, had won four Ballon d’Or awards. Things changed in 2013, when, for his 69 goals in 59 matches, he earned a Ballon d’Or, as well as FIFA World Player of the Year, an amalgamation that came to him for the first time in his career.

Cristiano Ronaldo Ballon d'Or - CR7's Most Illustrious Award Collection

Ronaldo received his second successive Ballon d’Or for his excellent performance in the 2014-15 season, during which he helped Real lift the Club World Cup trophy in Morocco. He thus joined Johan Cruyff, Michel Platini, and Marco van Basten as a new member of the three-time Ballon d’Or winner club. His performance in the following season earned him the second place on the Ballon d’Or podium, with the award being handed to Messi. In 2016, he earned his fourth Ballon d’Or, after ending up as the runner-up for the award thrice since he joined the team.

Cristiano Ronaldo Ballon d’Or award wins: 2008, 2013, 2014, 2016

He is the only player to win the Ballon d’Or at two different clubs, i.e. Manchester United and Real Madrid. He is also the only player to win it in two different leagues i.e. England Premier League and La Liga. The much criticized man may have kept his original awards on display at his museum, but he donated the replicas of his four Ballon d’Or awards, and helped raise €600,000, which is around $705,000, for charity. Israeli millionaire and philanthropist Idan Ofer bought these at the gala hosted by the Make-A-Wish Foundation at London’s Dorchester hotel.

Cristiano Ronaldo Ballon d'Or - CR7's Most Illustrious Award Collection

Ronaldo has been nominated for the Ballon d’Or again this year, for his performance in 2016-17. He, and Messi, are the top contenders among the 30 names in the running for the award. The two rival forwards have dominated the award for nine years. While Messi has the highest number of Ballon d’Or awards, with five of them, Ronaldo is the close second, with four of them. Based on his successful season with Real Madrid, it is argued that Ronaldo is most likely to win it, and thus level with Messi.  The winner of this year’s Ballon d’Or will be announced on December 6, 2017.