As expected, Cristiano Ronaldo claimed his fourth Ballon d’Or on Monday, beating Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann to the accolade.
Ronaldo added to his 2008, 2013 and 2014 awards after a stellar 2016 for club and country, winning the Champions League and Euro 2016 with Real Madrid and Portugal respectively.
Messi, a five-time winner of the gong, was unable to add to his haul despite helping Barcelona retain their LaLiga title in 2015-16.
Griezmann’s impressive performances with Atletico Madrid and, in particular, France helped him to make the podium, while Messi’s Barca colleagues Luis Suarez and Neymar were fourth and fifth respectively.
Manchester United made Paul Pogba the most expensive player in the world when they paid £89million to re-sign the midfielder from Juventus, but that hefty price tag was not enough for the France international to force his way into the top 10 of the Ballon d’Or.
Together with Arturo Vidal of Bayern Munich, Pogba came joint 14th in the final rankings of the 2016 award, which is voted for by 173 journalists around the world and administered by respected publication France Football.
The 23-year-old helped France to reach the final of Euro 2016 on home soil, losing to Portugal in extra-time.
While showing glimpses of his best form during Jose Mourinho’s first campaign in charge at Old Trafford, Pogba is yet to fully convince back in a United shirt, having left Old Trafford for Turin in 2012, only to return – for an eye-watering fee – in August.
Leicester City’s fairytale Premier League title triumph was recognised in the voting for France Football’s 2016 Ballon d’Or, with Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy both named in the top 10, as Cristiano Ronaldo won the award.
Algeria forward Mahrez and England striker Vardy came seventh and eighth respectively in the final rankings for the prestigious individual accolade, ahead of stellar names such as Paul Pogba, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Robert Lewandowski.
The Foxes pair found themselves behind Ronaldo’s Real Madrid team-mate Gareth Bale, who came sixth after winning the Champions League and helping Wales to an unexpected semi-final appearance at their maiden European Championship.
Veterans Pepe and Gianluigi Buffon shared ninth thanks in no small part to some excellent performances for their respective national teams at Euro 2016.
Ballon d’Or 2016 final rankings:
1. Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)
2. Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
3. Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid)
4. Luis Suarez (Barcelona)
5. Neymar (Barcelona)
6. Gareth Bale (Real Madrid)
7. Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City)
8. Jamie Vardy (Leicester City)
9. Pepe (Real Madrid)
9. Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus)
11. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Borussia Dortmund)
12. Rui Patricio (Sporting CP)
13. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Manchester United)
14. Arturo Vidal (Bayern Munich)
14. Paul Pogba (Manchester United)
16. Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)
17. Dimitri Payet (West Ham)
17. Luka Modric (Real Madrid)
17. Toni Kroos (Real Madrid)
No votes: Koke (Atletico Madrid), Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur), Diego Godin (Atletico Madrid), Paulo Dybala (Juventus), Sergio Aguero (Manchester City), Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City), Gonzalo Higuain (Juventus), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich), Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid).
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