Zinedine Zidane has claimed that Cristiano Ronaldo is the greatest player of all time, after the Real Madrid star picked up his 5th Balon d’Or.
Ronaldo’s win in the annual poll – his second in successive years – takes him level with his great rival Lionel Messi in most wins. He also won the award in 2008, 2013 and 2014.
The Ballon d’Or is voted for by 173 journalists from around the world, and has been awarded by France Football every year since 1956.
But Ronaldo’s record makes him the best ever, according to Zidane, who won the Balon d’Or himself in 1998.
“The stats speak for themselves,” he said. “He’s the best player in the history of football.
“He’ll always be up here for me. Many things have been said about him, and what he does out on the field every match is phenomenal.
“The other day I said that a player could come here and stay for 15 or 20 years and he’ll never do what he’s done. He’s made history at the club and will continue to do so and I hope he’ll retire here.”
Ronaldo, 32, has scored 418 goals in 412 games for Real, winning three Champions Leagues and two La Liga titles. He also captained Portugal to the Euro 2016 title. While his league form has been patchy this season, in the Champions League he became the first player to score in all 6 group games.
After winning the award, Ronaldo posted a message on Instagram saying: “Another dream come true. Unbelievable feeling. Thanks to my family, friends, teammates, coaches and everyone that stood by my side throughout the years.”