While Ronaldo has earned three Ballon d'Or titles across his trophy-laden career, he'll now have to settle for being second best for good. There's really no shame in that - but perhaps the biggest shame is we've never been able to see these two footballing icons play alongside each other.
Having mastered every challenge his sport has placed before him, Ronaldo no longer competes with his peers but has transcended to higher plane to seek measure against the likes of Ali, Nicklaus, Federer, Phelps and Bolt, to name but a few. For in Ronaldo there is no doubt he deserves his place among such stellar company.
The big, glitzy ceremony gives the game away a bit - it's just an excuse for Fifa and co to throw a party, pat themselves on the back, get a few drinks down and rub shoulders with the great and the good. If it was at the end of a season, it might be more palatable.
Cristiano Ronaldo's bizarre Ballon d'Or acceptance ROAR sent Twitter into meltdown on Monday night. As far as acceptance
At this time of year, the focus turns to the Ballon d'Or and with the 23-man list released earlier today, discussion is rife on social media as to who should and should not be up for nomination for the individual awards event of the year. The nominees will always spark debate...
Ballon d'Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo was pestered to rejoin Manchester United last summer by former team-mate Rio Ferdinand
Cristiano Ronaldo won the FIFA Ballon d'Or award for the second time last night after being named runner up for the last
Cristiano Ronaldo has won the Ballon d'Or for a second time. The Real Madrid man, who has finished runner-up three times
Lionel Messi may have dropped below his own high standards in 2013 - averaging a meagre goal a game and winning only his
Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Franck Ribéry are the three finalists for the 2013 Ballon d'Or. Argentina and Barcelona