Cristiano Ronaldo is the winner of the Ballon d' Or 2016 edition, having now won it four times. The prestigious award comes as the best finish to an amazing year for the Portuguese player. He scored the decisive goal that sealed the Real Madrid win of the Champions League, his personal 3rd win and the 11th for the Spanish powerhouse. Later, in July, he won the Euro 2016, being the captain of the Portuguese national team. Moreover, he scored 48 goals in 52 games during this calendar year. The Portuguese gets closer to Lionel Messi on their personal quest for the label of the best Football player of the world: Messi has collected the "Golden Ball" 5 times.

FIFA and France Football split again

This is the first time since 2009 that the two prestigious trophies for the best player of the world (the one by french magazine France Football and the one by FIFA, itself) are awarded separately. For this reason, the announcements of both awards are also separated: France Football announced this Monday, and delivered the trophy to CR7 at the stadium of Real Madrid, while FIFA will stage the usual ceremony in Zurich, next January

How should we compare Ronaldo and Messi regarding these titles?

The question was somewhat confusing, given the existence of two awards of the same kind and the honour and prestige of the Ballon d' Or, created in 1956, while the FIFA World Player of the Year came only in 1991.

The merge of both, from 2010 onwards, could have been a way of solving this; however, the new split that is now coming into effect will make this even harder to understand. History records already show a weird gap between 2010 and 2015, when the two prizes were the same.

Worst than that is the fact that FIFA changed the name of its award: it is no longer FIFA World Player of the Year, but rather The Best FIFA Football Awards.

Should the statistics consider it a continuation of the World Player of the Year, given "alone" between 1991 and 2010 and together with Ballon d' Or from 2010 to 2015? The official FIFA website, in it's article "The Best explained", does not explain this.

Anyway, one should consider things as they are: the FIFA prize has been awarded since 1991, and the France Football one since 1956.

From 2010 to 2015, they were the same.

It's fortunate that Ronaldo and Messi won the same before 2010 (the Portuguese bagged both trophies in 2008 and the Argentinian did the same in 2009.) Before this Ballon d' Or, their score was 5-3, in both awards, advantage for Messi. Now, after this Ballon d' Or, it's 5-4. Next January we will confirm it the FIFA award (whatever is it called) also turns 5-4.

An incredible tale of rivalry

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are seriously bidding to be considered the two best football players ever to be known. No matter what stats you consider, FIFA or France Football, merged or splitted, no other player has won these awards more than three times. And the most impressive feat is that they are at the peak of their careers, which mean they may be on top for some time more. Messi has an advantage: he is only 29 years old, while Ronaldo is 31.

Who do you think will end up with more Ballon d' Or and/or FIFA awards? Leave your comment below!