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The 2017 Ballon d'Or: When is it? Where is it? Will Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi win it? Featured

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Published in Spain Primera Division
Tuesday, 05 December 2017 10:27

Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo is expected to win his fifth Ballon d'Or this week, drawing him level with Lionel Messi and complete a decade of dominance for the pair.

But details over the event are almost always unclear. Here's everything you need to know...
When is it?

The Ballon d'Or presentation will take place on Thursday 7 December at 6.45pm GMT.

Who are the nominees?

Neymar (Barcelona/Paris Saint-Germain/Brazil)
Luka Modric (Real Madrid/Croatia)
Paulo Dybala (Juventus/Argentina)
Marcelo (Real Madrid/Brazil)
N'Golo Kante (Chelsea/France)
Luis Suarez (Barcelona/Uruguay)
Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid/Spain)
Jan Oblak (Atletico Madrid/Slovenia)
Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool/Brazil)
Dries Mertens (Napoli/Belgium)
Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City/Belgium)
Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich/Poland)
David De Gea (Manchester United/Spain)
Harry Kane (Tottenham/England)
Edin Dzeko (Roma/Bosnia&Herzegovina)
Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid/France)
Toni Kroos (Real Madrid/Germany)
Sadio Mane (Liverpool/Senegal)
Radamel Falcao (Monaco/Colombia)
Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus/Italy)
Lionel Messi (Barcelona/Argentina)
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Borussia Dortmund/Gabon)
Edinson Cavani (Paris Saint-Germain/Uruguay)
Mats Hummels (Bayern Munich/Germany)
Karim Benzema (Real Madrid)
Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid/Portugal)
Eden Hazard (Chelsea/Belgium)
Isco (Real Madrid/Spain)
Kylian Mbappe (Monaco/Paris Saint-Germain/France)
Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus/AC Milan/Italy)
But what about the FIFA award?

This is where it starts to get a little bit complicated. The Fifa World Player of the Year award and the Ballon d'Or award were traditionally separate, with the latter being the high profile one of the two. In 2010 the two merged, but in 2015 they diverged and Fifa atempted a rebrand with 'The Best' award... which Cristiano Ronaldo won back in October. However, the Ballon d'Or remains the more illustrious of the two.

Who are the voters?

The Ballon d'Or is run by France Football magazine and they use a pool of sports journalists from around the world to choose the winner. Details beyond that are somewhat murky.

Who is the favourite?

Cristiano Ronaldo is the odds-on favourite to win a fifth Ballon d'Or. Lionel Messi and Gianluigi Buffon are the likeliest challengers according to the bookmakers.

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  • Cristiano Ronaldo hits double as Real Madrid destroy Sevilla at the Bernabeu

    Santiago Bernabeu, La Liga - Real Madrid 5 (Nacho 3', Ronaldo 23', 31', Kroos 38', Achraf 42') Sevilla 0

    Cristiano Ronaldo celebrated his fifth Ballon d'Or award in style by scoring twice as Real Madrid thumped Sevilla 5-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu.
    The European champions scored all five goals in the first half with Nacho getting the ball rolling after only two minutes. From then on, Zinedine Zidane’s side showed their strength, catching Sevilla out time and time again with fast and furious counter attacking play in the final third.

    Officially the world's greatest player with his haul of five paraded before the match, Ronaldo beat the offside trap to score his first of the afternoon on 23 minutes before converting a penalty on 31 minutes. Toni Kroos made it four on 38 minutes with young Moroccan full back Achraf Hakimi netting a fifth three minutes before half-time.
    Sevilla will be relieved to get out of the Spanish capital having lost only five. Madrid move a point above Atletico into third place alongside Valencia, but remain five behind Barcelona, who have played one game less before they visit Villarreal on Sunday.

    TALKING POINT - Was this the moment Real Madrid’s season turned?
    The 2017/18 season has been difficult for Real Madrid, at least domestically. A defeat to Sevilla could have left them trailing Barcelona by a staggering 14 points by the time of the Clasico on December 23. Instead, they put down a marker, with Zidane opting for more of a counter-attacking style. That’s what his team does best, so will this prove to be a turning point in their season?
    MAN OF THE MATCH - Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)
    Despite winning a fifth Ballon d’Or during the week, finishing off a Champions League group stage campaign that saw him score nine times in six games, Ronaldo has struggled for goals in La Liga so far this season. But this was the Portuguese forward back to his best. He bagged a brace, but was also key to the fast and furious nature of Real Madrid’s performance, even tracking back to help out defensively.

    Real Madrid: Navas 5, Nacho 7, Marcelo 7, Vallejo 5, Achraf 8, Modric 7, Asensio 8, Kroos 7, Lucas 7, Ronaldo 9, Benzema 6. Subs: Llorente 5, Isco 6, Ceballos 5.

    Sevilla: Rico 5, Mercado 5, Carole 4, Kjaer 4, Lenglet 5, Pizarro 5, Banega 5, Vazquez 6, Navas 5, Muriel 6, Nolito 4. Subs: Geis 5, Sarabia 5, Krohn-Dehli 5.

    3’ GOAL! Real Madrid 1-0 Sevilla: What a defensive mix up from Sevilla! Kjaer managed to head the corner kick back into the danger area and Nacho was on hand to stab home the finish high into the roof of the net.

    23’ GOAL! Real Madrid 2-0 Sevilla: Ronaldo gets his goal! Asensio plays the ball through to the Portuguese forward, who gets it under control with the perfect touch and finishes low past Rico. Great finish! Great goal!

    30’ PENALTY KICK TO REAL MADRID! Navas is penalised for a handball against Marcelo and the hosts will have the chance to score a third from the spot.
    31’ GOAL! Real Madrid 3-0 Sevilla: And there's the third goal for Real Madrid! It wasn't the best penalty kick from Ronaldo, but the ball squeezes underneath Rico and he has his second of the game.

    38’ GOAL! Real Madrid 4-0 Sevilla: They have a FOURTH! Ronaldo started the move by winning the ball in midfield, with Vazquez playing a low cross for Kroos to finish from close range. This game is finished. Just call it full time now.

    42’ GOAL! Real Madrid 5-0 Sevilla: This is INCREDIBLE! Real Madrid are 5-0 up before half time! Benzema and Ronaldo linked up to release Achraf down the right side and he sends a finish into the far corner of the net.

    Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema have hit the woodwork more times (eight between them) than goals they have scored in La Liga so far this season.

    Ronaldo has scored 24 goals in 15 games against Sevilla in La Liga, more than against any other team.

  • Cristiano Ronaldo: 'I'm the best player in history'

    Cristiano Ronaldo has hailed himself as "the best player in history" following his historic fifth Ballon d'Or win on Thursday.

    Speaking to France Football after his win, the Real Madrid striker reflected on his momentous victory.
    The four-time Champions League-winner was emphatic in declaring himself the greatest player in history.

    "I don't see anyone better than me," he said. "No player does things I cannot do myself but I see things others can't do.

    " There's no more complete player than me."
    "I’m the best player in history — in the good and the bad moments."
    The 32-year-old has now won the much-coveted award five times - the same number as arch-rival, Barcelona forward Lionel Messi, to see the pair dominate the last decade of the competition.
    Clearly bolstered by his win, Ronaldo, who was congratulated on his win by the likes of Brazil great Pele, was clearly in no doubt himself over his own brilliance.
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  • Cristiano Ronaldo sets another record as Real Madrid win thriller

    Champions League Group H, Santiago Bernabeu Stadium - Real Madrid 3 ( Mayoral 8', Ronaldo 12', Vasquez 81') Borussia Dortmund 2 (Aubameyang 43', 48')

    Cristiano Ronaldo became the first man ever to score in every Champions League group game - he managed nine in total - as Madrid edged Dortmund, who qualified for the Europa League nonetheless thanks to Apoel's defeat against Spurs.
    Madrid started really well against a Dortmund side struggling for form and configured in a now-unfamiliar 4-3-3 system. After eight minutes, Ronaldo and Isco combined, allowing Borja Mayoral to score his first Champions League goal, and shortly afterwards, Ronaldo set his new standard in suitable style, ripping home a curler into the far top corner.
    But bit by bit, Dortmund eased their way into the game, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's reply was not a surprise, coming, as it did, after several warnings. That was just before half-time; just after half-time, he scored again, a delicious chip punishing Keylor Navas for saving his first effort.

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    How does Zinedine Zidane find his best team? Marco Asensio made a huge difference when he came on; Gareth Bale is still excellent; Dani Ceballos is hugely promising; Isco is now one of the best players in Europe and yet there is only room for one of them in the team .. unless Zinedine Zidane leaves out Toni Kroos or Luka Modric.

    Real Madrid: Navas 6, Nacho 5, Ramos 5, Varane 6, Theo 6, Casemiro 6, Kovacic 6, Isco 8, Lucas Vasquez 7, Mayoral 7, Ronaldo 7. Subs: Asensio 7, Ceballos 6, Llorente 6.

    Borussia Dortmund: Burki 6, Sokratis 6, Subotic 6, Schmelzer 7, Bartra 5, Sahin 6, Dahoud 6, Guerreiro 5, Pulisic 6, Aubameyang 7, Kagawa 5. Subs: Weigl 6, Toprak 6, Yarmolenko 6.


    9’ - GOAL! Real Madrid 1-0 Borussia Dortmund (Mayoral) Dortmund lose possession and immediately Madrid find Ronaldo on the left touchline. He skips across Barta and with no shot on, clips a clever pass into the box for Isco, who pirouettes looking to bring the ball with him into his stride. It doesn't work out, but does find Mayroal's instead, and he clips a deft finish over the diving Burki for his first Champions League goal. And a well-taken one it is too.

    43’ - GOAL! Real Madrid 2-1 Borussia Dortmund 1 (Aubameyang) Nacho plays a poor pass which Schmelzer intercepts, before slinging over a cross for Aubameyang; he dives to punch a glancing header into the far corner, a very nicely taken effort.

    48’ - GOAL! Real Madrid 2-2 Borussia Dortmund (Aubameyang) This is strange and beautiful. Sahin darts a ball into the box and Kagawa backflicks to find Aubameyang in the box and he looks offside - he is offside, so everyone stops - but the flag stays down. So he ducks inside Ramos and shoots low, Navas saving with a sweeping leg only to return the ball to Aubameyang, who stubs a chip over him and in. That's beautifully done, and Madrid are suddenly struggling.

    80’ - GOAL! Real Madrid 3-2 Borussia Dortmund (Lucas Vasquez) Madrid pump another ball into the box and Mayoral challenges Bartra, who can't clear effectively. The ball drops to Theo, who sets for Vasquez - outside the box, left of centre - and he contorts his body to use the outside of his right foot, forcing the ball across Burki and in.


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    Isco is the only Real Madrid player to have made five assists in each of the last five seasons in all competitions; he has 44 in total.

  • Ballon d'Or 2017: Cristiano Ronaldo claims historic fifth Ballon d'Or ahead of Lionel Messi

    Real Madrid and Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo has won the 2017 Ballon d'Or, his fourth win in five years and fifth overall, drawing him level with his great rival Lionel Messi.

    Messi came second while Paris St Germain forward Neymar Jr came third.
    Ronaldo, 32, received the award from France Football at a ceremony at the Eiffel Tower in Paris as he drew level in the all-time stakes with Messi, who by 2012 had won four Ballons d'Or to Ronaldo's one.
    Michel Platini, Johan Cruyff and Marco van Basten are the next closest challengers with three wins apiece in football's most prestigious individual award. But Ronaldo's triumph extends his and Messi's unbroken spell of dominance to an entire decade.

    The 2017 Ballon d'Or was recognition for a year which saw Ronaldo named man of the match in Real Madrid's Champions League final victory over Juventus, his fourth European Cup win, as well as collecting his second Liga trophy.

    On Wednesday night, he became the first player to ever score in all six matches in the Champions League group stage.
    Chelsea's N'Golo Kante was the highest-ranking Premier League player, finishing eighth, with Tottenham striker Harry Kane coming tenth.

    'Dream come true'

    Ronaldo thanked his team-mates as he accepted the award, later tweeting about the "unbelievable feeling" at winning for the fifth time.

    He said: "This is something I look forward to every year," adding "Thanks to my Real Madrid team-mates. And I want to thank the rest of the people who helped me reach this level."
    The Portugal international received praise from across the football community, including from Brazil legend Pele, who tweeted: "I would love to have played on the same side as you!"
    TOP 30 - BALLON D'OR 2017

    1. Cristiano Ronaldo
    2. Lionel Messi
    3. Neymar
    4. Gianluigi Buffon
    5. Luka Modric
    6. Sergio Ramos
    7. Kylian Mbappe
    8. N'Golo Kante
    9. Robert Lewandowski
    10. Harry Kane
    11. Edinson Cavani
    12. Isco
    13. Luis Suarez
    14. Kevin de Bruyne
    15. Paulo Dybala
    16. Marcelo
    17. Toni Kroos
    18. Antoine Griezmann
    19. Eden Hazard
    20. David de Gea
    21= Leonardo Bonucci
    21= Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
    23. Sadio Mane
    24. Radamel Falcao
    25. Karim Benzema
    26. Jan Oblak
    27. Mats Hummels
    28. Edin Dzeko
    29= Dries Mertens
    29= Philippe Coutinho

    A decade of dominance at the Ballon d'Or

    2008: Ronaldo
    2009: Messi
    2010: Messi
    2011: Messi
    2012: Messi
    2013: Ronaldo
    2014: Ronaldo
    2015: Messi
    2016: Ronaldo
    2017: Ronaldo

  • Lionel Messi's Barcelona contract: €100m bonus, €70m a year and exclusive image rights

    The extraordinary details behind Lionel Messi's new Barcelona contract have been revealed by Spanish newspaper El Mundo.

    Messi signed a new contract with the Catalan club in November after months of speculation over his long-term future.
    El Mundo have reported that the delay to his new contract was not purely because of the financial negotiations, but because of the political crisis in Catalonia over their recent independence vote.

    However, the sums involved in his deal are staggering, if as claimed. The contract runs until 2021, with the option of another year for Barcelona.

    After Messi's conviction for tax fraud, he has apparently been handed a signing-on sum of €100m (£88.5m) as compensation for his troubles.
    Beyond that, he will earn €70m a year in wages, around £1.2m a week, and he has been granted exclusive image rights.

    The total cost of the deal comes to €450m, and will earn Messi €3,995 an hour, which works out as almost €100,000 a day after tax.

    The figures represent a deal that is 70% more lucrative that Cristiano Ronaldo's current deal with Real Madrid, and only €4m a year worse than Neymar, who joined Paris Saint-Germain this summer.
    Other sporting figures have also been left behind. Steph Curry earns €40.5m a year, and Fernando Alonso €37.7m. The only other footballer to come close to his salary is Carlos Tevez, whose deal in China is worth €64m each year.

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