Cristiano Ronaldo on course to lift fifth Ballon d’Or title

Portugal international is on course to be named the FIFA Ballon d’Or winner for the fifth time in his career after guiding Real Madrid to a La Liga and Champions League double.

The Portugal international had his doubters at the start of the season despite his national triumph at Euro 2016. Ronaldo started the season late owing to an injury sustained in the final at Paris, but he managed to integrate quickly once he returned to full fitness.

Los Blancos had not won the La Liga crown since the 2011-12 season which was Ronaldo’s first in the famous white strip, and many doubted whether he could lift another title owing to Barcelona’s dominance in the Spanish league. However, the club pushed towards their goal of lifting the league crown with the help of Ronaldo, who became more of a target man than in his early years, where he would be drifting from the flanks.

Ronaldo’s biggest accomplishment probably came in this season’s Champions League, where he managed to bag 10 of Real Madrid’s 14 goals from the quarter-final stage to guide his side to a second successive Champions League crown – the first time to do so in the modern era. His close competitor in Lionel Messi had an average season with Barcelona, who ended their season with a Copa del Rey triumph, and this has placed Ronaldo in pole position to be once again named as the World’s best player.

The former Manchester United man inked a new five-year deal earlier last season, and he is unlikely to be leaving Los Blancos anytime soon owing to the tremendous success he has enjoyed under the guidance of manager Zinedine Zidane, who was one of the best players in his generation. Ronaldo ended the season with 42 goals in 46 outings for the European champions.