Cristiano Ronaldo offered his fourth Ballon d’Or to the Bernabéu faithful ahead of the match against Granada on Saturday.
Madrid greats on hand
The trophy was presented by Real Madrid great Paco Gento, the only player in history to win six European Cups and who now serves as honorary president of the club. Also in attendance were Madrid’s former Ballon d’Or winners Raymond Kopa (1958), Ronaldo (1997 and 2002), Michael Owen (2000) and Luis Figo (2001), plus of course his manager Zinedine Zidane (1998).
Kaká and Fabio Cannavaro, two of Madrid’s other winners of the award, were present via video messages played on the Bernabéu big screens. The fans in the stadium all held aloft gold placards when the players emerged from the tunnel to form a shimmering mosaic in the Madrid sunshine.
History repeats itself for Granada
It was the second time Ronaldo had presented his credentials ahead of a Liga game against Granada in the Bernabéu. The last time was in 2014, days after Ronaldo had won the 2013 Ballon d’Or, when he opened the scoring in a 2-1 win. Granada’s coach then was Lucas Alcaraz and the game was also the early kick-off.
On Saturday, Ronaldo added Real's third as the home side swept to a 4-0 lead in half an hour.