The award, which was presented in Paris on Monday night, is Ronaldo’s fourth.
Now separated from FIFA and back with France Football magazine, the award is voted by nearly 200 top journalists around the world.
Ronaldo won the Ballon d’Or after a year in which he enjoyed victory at Euro 2016 for Portugal and in the Champions League for his club.
The 61st Golden Ball will be awarded by France Football, the magazine that created the award after it ended its partnership with FIFA.
The result was not a surprise after France Football leaked a copy of the magazine with Ronaldo on the cover with the Ballon d’Or trophy.
The magazine is said to publish an exclusive interview with the winner, which is said to have been done on Thursday last week.
The Real Madrid star, currently in Japan, beat rival Lionel Messi to the award for the world’s best player.
It was conspicuous during the ceremony that three of the top contenders for the award were all else where. Ronaldo in Japan for the club World Cup semi final game, Messi in Qatar for a Barcelona friendly game and Griezman in a La Liga game against Villarreal.
France Football counted down from the top 20, starting with equal 17th-placed Dimitri Payet, Toni Kroos and Luka Modric.
But in a bizarre twist, the count down stopped in the sixth spot that Gareth Bale occupies before skipping to announce Cristiano Ronaldo as the winner.
With the win tonight Ronaldo’s Ballo d’Or haul is now one short of Messi’s five.
The count down according to France Football:
1. Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid/Portugal)
6. Gareth Bale (Real Madrid/Wales)
7. Riyad Mahrez (Leicester/Algeria)
8. Jamie Vardy (Leicester/England)
9. Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus Turin/Italy) and Pepe (Real Madrid/Portugal)
11. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Borussia Dortmund/Gabon)
12. Rui Patricio (Sporting CP/ Portugal)
13. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Manchester United/Sweden)
14. Paul Pogba (Manchester United/France) and Arturo Vidal (Bayern Munich/Chile)
16. Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich/Poland)
17. Toni Kroos (Real Madrid/Germany), Luka Modric (Real Madrid/Croatia) Dimitri Payet (West Ham/France).