Cristiano Ronaldo beat Lionel Messi to pick up his second FIFA Best Player of the Year award at Monday’s ceremony in London.
And he did it in some style, too. Ronaldo received 43.16 per cent of the votes, more than double Messi’s 19.25 per cent.
The outcome became pretty simple to predict when Ronaldo fired Real Madrid to a La Liga and Champions League double.
Messi has scored more goals, provided more assists and created more chances than Ronaldo has in 2017, but he didn’t score a brace in the Champions League final.
It’s because of his achievements in the league and Europe’s biggest competition that Ronaldo is also expected to claim the 2017 Ballon dOr, which will be announced later on in the year.
That would put the Portuguese forward level with Messi with five Ballon d’Ors. It’s just the narrative FIFA would want heading into a year in which both will play at the World Cup.
The Messi versus Ronaldo rivalry has captivated the world for close to a decade, when the former Manchester United ace beat his Argentinian foe to the 2008 Ballon d’Or.
Ronaldo: 'I don't compete with Leo'
Ronaldo spoke about the battle last night, insisting he doesn’t see it as a competition.
"I don't compete with Leo," he said, per Goal. "He is a player, who is in the same era.
“He won five times. I won five times too — individual awards for the best in the world. So things are as they are.
"Obviously, I am happy because, as I said before, I am at the best club in the world.
“I have had the opportunity to demonstrate that I am at a very high level during the last few years. And I am still [physically] very well.”
Ronaldo's response to Ronaldo/Messi question
With both players in their thirties now - Ronaldo is 32, Messi 30 - Ronaldo was asked whether their duel was over.
His response was quality.
“It didn’t finish yet… it is just starting,” he said.
Just what every football fan wanted to hear.
A world where Ronaldo and Messi aren’t battling it out every season for the biggest prizes in football - individual and team awards - doesn’t sound like a very enjoyable one.