Cristiano Ronaldo won his fourth Ballon d’Or title Monday, beating rival Lionel Messi for the title of best footballer in the world for 2016.
Ronaldo led Portugal to its first major international honor at the 2016 European Championships held in France. He also scored the winning penalty shot in Real Madrid’s match against Atletico Madrid in May, winning the UEFA Champions League for the second time in three seasons.
With this year’s Ballon d’Or, Ronaldo has one less than Lionel Messi, whose Barcelona team beat Real Madrid to the Spanish La Liga title by one point in 2015.
Though Ronaldo was unable to attend the award ceremony in Paris due to his and his team’s participation in the FIFA Club World Cup in Japan where Real Madrid had a six-point lead over Barcelona in La Liga, he sent a pre-recorded interview, saying: “For me it’s an unbelievable moment, I’m so proud, so happy. Thank you to everyone who voted for me. Thank you to my teammates … Portugal national team, and this trophy’s for Real Madrid.”