Cristiano Ronaldo looks set to match his great rival Lionel Messi on Thursday by claiming a fifth Ballon d Or as recognition for leading Real Madrid to a La Liga and Champions League double last season.
Barcelona s 30-year-old Argentinian superstar won the coveted award from 2009 to 2012 and in 2015. Portugal s Ronaldo, who is 32, took the honours in 2008, 2013, 2014 and last year.
The man who came to maturity under the watchful eye of ex-Manchester United coach Alex Ferguson clinched his fourth Ballon d Or after an unforgettable season, first spearheading Real to the Champions League title before also leading his homeland to Euro 2016 glory in Paris.
The France Football magazine award is decided upon by a journalists ballot (with 173 voting in 2016) with each naming a top five from a list of 30.