Cristiano Ronaldo displayed his four Ballon d’Ors to the Real Madrid faithful before helping his side to a 5-0 thumping of Granada.
The Portuguese international edged out Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann for the prestigious honor last December by capping a golden year with club and country successes in the Champions League and the European Championship.
With a spectacular mosaic of golden cards filling Real’s home ground, Cristiano presented the latest accolade alongside the previous three he won in 2008, 2013 and 2014. It was indeed a historic moment and the 31-year-old forward wasn’t meant to savor it alone.
This video will give you goosebumps… Ronaldo honored as the king that he is!
— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadriden) January 7, 2017
Present at the honorary ceremony were legendary Galacticos, whom themselves won the Ballon d’Or in their playing days. 1954 winner Raymond Kopa, two-time Ballon d’Or winner Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima, Zinedine Zidane (1998), Luis Figo (2000) and Micheal Owen (2001) were on the pitch alongside the man being celebrated ahead of the La Liga game on Saturday.
#BallondOr winners at Bernabeu today:
CR7 2008, 2013, 2014, 2016 pic.twitter.com/vIPjvwmIPv
— M•A•J (@UItraSuristic) January 7, 2017
Other ex-Real Madrid stars and Ballon d’Or winners, Kaka and Cannavaro, also made an appearance. They decided to wow the Bernabeu with video tributes as can be seen in Real Madrid’s breathtaking clip above.
Speaking after the game, Coach Zidane was full of praise for the golden boy.
“I’m happy for him because it’s very well deserved. The rest of us here with him haven’t got four Ballon d’Ors. It’s a bit strange to do it before the match but that’s the way it is and everything’s gone fine in the end.”
The Frenchman’s fellow Galacticos also lauded the ex-Manchester United man for his achievements in football thus far.
First was Luis Figo: “Cristiano Ronaldo is writing a page in the history of football.”
And then the Brazilian Ronaldo, in an interview with beIN Sports: “It is an honor to be able to share the Ballon d’Or with CR7. It’s a very special moment. With his ambition, he will certainly fight for a fifth.”
Although no official statement was released, the star-studded Ballon d’Or presentation event was initially rumored to take place during Real Madrid’s Copa del Rey first leg encounter with Sevilla, last Wednesday.
It however appears that there was a change of plans which might have been due to the fact that Cristiano Ronaldo was not going to feature in that game. This would have been a first.
In typical fashion, Cristiano Ronaldo commemorated the occasion with a goal — his 11th of the season, after getting on the end of a Marcelo cross. Los Blancos’ 5-0 ending over Granada tied them with rivals Barcelona in an all-time 39-game unbeaten record in La Liga. Real Madrid are currently on top of the league with six points ahead of Barcelona.
The 31-year-old Portuguese forward also marked his 4th Ballon d’Or by showcasing for the first time his pair of Nike Mercurial Superfly CR7 Vitorias. Those were launched right after his official triumph on December 12, last year.