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More Ballons d'Or than Cruyff, Platini & Van Basten - is Ronaldo now the best European player ever?

BeSoccer by BeSoccer @besoccer_com - 1 2,837

Pin Cristiano Ronaldo poses with the Ballon d'Or in 2014. Goal
Cristiano Ronaldo poses with the Ballon d'Or in 2014. Goal

More Ballons d'Or than Cruyff, Platini & Van Basten - is Ronaldo now the best European player ever?

BeSoccer by BeSoccer @besoccer_com - 1 2,837

The Real Madrid forward claimed the prestigious prize for the fourth time on Monday, an unprecedented achievement for a footballer from the "old continent".

Another Ballon d'Or for Cristiano Ronaldo. When the Portuguese finished second to Lionel Messi in the FIFA gala for the Golden Ball in January, many speculated that he may never make the final three again. But instead, by winning the individual award for a fourth time, he has achieved what no European player has done before him.

This year, the Ballon d'Or cut ties with FIFA and was handed out by France Football, just as it was when Ronaldo first won it in 2008 as a Manchester United player. Cristiano has now won two of each version and four in total, a number second only to Messi, a five-time winnner of the prestigious prize.

It comes in a year in which the Real Madrid forward won the Champions League for the third time in his career with his club and also Euro 2016 with Portugal. This fourth Ballon d'Or sees him surpass three-time winners Michel Platini, Johan Cruyff and Marco van Basten while moving further clear of Franz Beckenbauer, Kevin Keegan and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, who all claimed the award twice.

So can Ronaldo now be considered the greatest European player of all time?

 

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