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Summary

  1. Ronaldo wins Ballon d'Or for fourth time
  2. Messi second, Griezmann third
  3. Vardy eighth, Mahrez seventh, Bale sixth
  4. Winner voted for by 173 journalists

Live Reporting

By Jonathan Jurejko

All times stated are UK

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We got there in the end. Any ideas how Cristiano Ronaldo will be celebrating his fourth Ballon d'Or tonight? Probably posing in the mirror with his trophy and taking selfies.

Thanks for your company over the last four hours - it has been a blast. See you next year...

Numbers 1-5

Ladies and gentleman, introducing the five best players on the planet...

1 Cristiano Ronaldo 

2 Lionel Messi

3 Antoine Griezmann 

4 Luis Suarez 

Neymar

Numbers 6-9

And the bottom half of the top 10...

6 Gareth Bale 

7 Riyad Mahrez 

8 Jamie Vardy 

9= Pepe, Gianluigi Buffon  

Numbers 11-17

Into the top 20 then, football lovers...

11 Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

12 Rui Patricio

13 Zlatan Ibrahimovic

14= Paul Pogba, Arturo Vidal

16 Robert Lewandowski

17= Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, Dimitri Payet

Eleven players did not receive a single vote from the 173 journalists who decide the Ballon d'Or winner. 

The Cast-Off XI is...

Sergio Aguero (Manchester City), Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City), Paulo Dybala (Juventus), Diego Godin (Atletico Madrid), Gonzalo Higuain (Napoli/Juventus), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), Koke (Atletico Madrid), Hugo Lloris (Tottenham), Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich), Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich),Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid).

Think it is all over? It is now!

If you're just joining us, or have been here all along, and are a bit confused by France Football's shambolic countdown (they revealed the shortlist one-by-one down to number five before giving up and announcing Ronaldo as the winner), here's a reminder of what has hapened tonight...

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Nitish Gupta: WORLD'S TOP 6 PLAYERS ARE FROM SPANISH LEAGUE.....English Premier League Fans anything to say ..!

Matthew Noble: I'm shocked at half of the names didn't get a single voting point at all... Just shocking... Godin? Koke? Lloris? Neuer?

1st place

Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid and Portugal)

And, if you're only just joining us, here's a reminder of the news we discovered about an hour and a half ago... Cristiano Ronaldo is the winner of the 2016 Ballon d'Or.

Cristiano Ronaldo
Real Madrid

2nd place

Lionel Messi (Barcelona and Argentina)

Imagine if it wasn't Lionel Messi! It is. The Barcelona forward, as we would have bet our house on, has to settle for second place.

He might have scored 58 goals for club and country, won La Liga and the Copa Del Rey, plus helped Argentina to the Copa America final - but it still wasn't enough.

Lionel Messi
EPA

3rd place

Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid and France)

Quelle surprise.

France's talisman in their run to the Euro 2016 final on home turf takes third spot.

The Atletico Madrid forward finished as the tournament’s top scorer with six goals, also helping his club side to the Champions League final.

Antoine Griezmann
GETT

Reckon Lionel Messi is refreshing his Twitter feed every two seconds to see where he has finished?

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Angel Castro: Messi could potentially be 4th... 

NERRRR URRRRR.

Suarez's special season

2016 Ballon d'Or

Luis Suarez
Getty Images

Last season was a golden one for Luis Suarez. The Uruguayan found the net 40 times in La Liga to win the coveted Pichichi Trophy for the league's top goalscorer. 

The former Liverpool striker also won the European Golden Shoe - the player other than Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo to do that double in the same season.

Suarez also led La Liga with Messi, as he became the first player ever to lead both goals and assists. 

Some campaign that. Phew. 

4th place

Luis Suarez (Barcelona and Uruguay)

Harsh. Looks like Luis Suarez has been pipped to the podium in the French-organised poll by a Frenchman...

Luis Suarez
Getty Images

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Simon, Croydon: Umm!..still wondering who were in the final top 5 and order...maybe Messi one of the discarded ones...  

Leo Tolstoy, England: Poor announcing. Why go so far, and then just go and kill the suspense at the top 5. Really appreciate that. Not. Really annoyed at that, I was enjoying the tension. Boo, hiss.

This is making your Sunday League team's end-of-season awards bash, usually compered by half-cut club secretary, look slicker than the Oscars.

Still waiting for four, three and two...

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Ryan Derrick: My guess is 1) Ronnie 2) Messi 3) Griezmann 4) Neymar 5) Suarez 

NERRRR URRRRR.  

5th place

Neymar (Barcelona and Brazil)

No place on the podium for last year's bronze medallist. But Brazil skipper Neymar will surely be more content with the actual Olympic gold medal he won in the summer.

That's not to mention Spanish league and cup winners' medals with his club side Barcelona.

Neymar
Getty Images

Who fancies the second big reveal of the night? Those France Football tinkers.

Drum roll please...

It is not easy to win the Ballon d'Or - Ronaldo

More from Cristiano Ronaldo on the possibility of winning a fifth Ballon d'Or: "I will try my best like every year. Every year is a new challenge and I love to play football so I will try my best for Real Madrid first, and the national team again if it’s possible, because we know it is very difficult to win tournaments. 

"It is not easy to win this [Ballon d'Or] so I will enjoy this win at this moment."

It feels like the first one - Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo on winning the Ballon d'Or: "The emotion is the same as the first one again, the dream coming true again. I never thought I’d win a fourth golden ball so I'm so pleased and so happy.

"I need to thank all my teammates, the national team, Real Madrid, all the people that helped me win this individual trophy. As you can imagine I feel so proud and happy to receive this amazing award."

Cristiano Ronaldo
Real Madrid

Yes Mounish, yes we do. I can't clock off until we discover what order Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Antoine Griezmann and Neymar have (possibly) finished...

There is some chat the complete top five will be revealed in the next 10 minutes or so. Stick with us...

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Mounish Schimmel: Does anyone else still want to know the top five?

Ronaldo wins fourth award

2016 Ballon d'Or

Cristiano Ronaldo
Getty Images

Cristiano Ronaldo has now won the award more than any other European player having already claimed it in 2008, 2013 and 2014.

Ronaldo moves above three-time winners Michel Platini (1983, 1984, 1985), Johan Cruyff (1971, 1973, 1974) and Marco van Basten (1988, 1989, 1992).

One more to go, Ronnie

You guessed it. Lionel Messi.

The Barcelona superstar first lifted that 12kg ball of gold-covered brass in 2009, going on to strike the same pose in front of the flashbulbs in each of the next three years.

After loaning the trophy to Cristiano Ronaldo in 2013 and 2014, the Argentina forward took it back last year.

Come on lads, let someone else have a go.

Ballon d'Or
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Ronaldo wins 2016 Ballon d'Or

Four of the most recognisable golden balls in world football will be sat on Cristiano Roanldo's mantelpiece. Or, more accurately, perched inside an oak-panelled cabinet in his own personal museum.

Only one man has won the trophy more times...

Ronaldo wins 2016 Ballon d'Or

So the Twitter rumours were true. You might have seen earlier the leaked picture of tomorrow's France Football magazine - featuring a Ballon d'Or-clinging Cristiano Ronaldo. And, as those who saw it suspected, it was genuine.

Ronaldo's ambition fulfilled

2016 Ballon d'Or

Cristiano Ronaldo
Getty Images

As well as his domestic achievements with Real Madrid, Cristiano Ronaldo managed to fulfill a career ambition by captaining Portugal to their first silverware at a major international tournament. 

Ronaldo might have limped out of Portugal's European Championship final against France through injury after 25 minutes in tears, but they became tears of joy when he went on to lift the Henri Delaunay trophy.

His three goals at France 2016 also saw him become the European Championship finals all-time leading goalscorer alongside France legend Michel Platini with nine. 

He also became Portugal's most capped player during the competition - overtaking Luis Figo's haul of 127 appearances.

Ronaldo spot on in Milan

2016 Ballon d'Or award

Cristiano Ronaldo
Getty Images

Cristiano Ronaldo did not quite have the impact in Real Madrid's Champions League final against city rivals Atletico he might have liked. 

But in true Ronaldo fashion he was on hand to take centre stage and provide the memorable moment. 

The forward scored the winning penalty in the San Siro shootout to seal Real's 11th European Cup. 

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Ehimze Albright:  Hurray!!! CR7 has won the Ballon d'Or 2016...Ronaldo is King!

Stuart Mitchell: Hahaha that takes farcical to a new level, all that build up just to kill it like that.

Maybe the team at France Football magazine want us to play a bit of Family Fortunes. Let's have a guess which names are on the board behind Ronaldo.

Hugo Lloris? NERRRR URRRRR.

Sergio Aguero? NERRRR URRRRR.

Lionel Messi? Surely a ping of the bell.

Ronaldo wins 2016 Ballon d'Or

👏🏆⚽ Congratulations to @Cristiano on winning his fourth Ballon d'Or! #HalaMadrid #RealMadrid

👏🏆⚽ Congratulations to @Cristiano on winning his fourth Ballon d'Or! #HalaMadrid #RealMadrid

Ronaldo wins 2016 Ballon d'Or

Just look at that grin...

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Ronaldo wins 2016 Ballon d'Or

We're still none the wiser who makes up the rest of the top five. This wouldn't happen in X Factor.

Ronaldo wins 2016 Ballon d'Or

A farcial ending. The big reveal was supposed to end at 19:00 GMT and was clearly overrunning. The show stolen by a timed Tweet perhaps?

Someone will be getting the hairdryer treatment in the France Football office tomorrow morning.

Ronaldo wins 2016 Ballon d'Or

HANG ON?! France Football have decided to kill all the suspense - and reveal Cristiano Ronaldo as the winner!

A steward's inquiry is needed...

Right into the top five...

6th place

Gareth Bale (Real Madrid and Wales)

Gareth Bale won't be following in the footsteps of Stanley Matthews, Denis Law, Bobby Charlton, George Best, Kevin Keegan and Michael Owen.

But it would have been a surprise if the Real Madrid and Wales forward had not been in the mixer.

British success?

Ballon d'Or
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And that figure will not change today...

7th place

Riyad Mahrez (Leicester and Algeria)

Named BBC African Footballer of the Year and in the top 10 of the Ballon d'Or - if cheap Danish lagers did awards' afternoons...

Riyad Mahrez might want to hold a joint party with Jamie Vardy. Leicester's footballing version of Dynamo is rewarded for a quite remarkable year.

He was a driving force in Leicester's shock title triumph, scoring 17 goals and providing 11 assists as the Foxes pulled off what had been a 5,000-1 shot before the season.

In 2016 he proved he can thrive at the highest level, scoring four goals in his first five games in the Champions League. 

Riyad Mahrez
Getty Images