Victory took the 32-year-old Portugal international level with 30-year-old Argentine Messi, who won the most recent of his five awards in 2015.
Last season, Ronaldo helped Real Madrid win the Champions League and their first La Liga title since 2012.
The former Manchester United star collected the Ballon d’Or after also being named Fifa’s Men’s World Player of the Year in a London ceremony in October.
The Fifa World Player of the Year award was merged in a partnership with France Football’s Ballon d’Or in 2010 and became known as the Fifa Ballon d’Or for the next six years, with the two awards having now split.
Ronaldo has won the Ballon d’Or on four other occasions – in 2008 with Manchester United, and in 2013, 2014 and 2016 with Real Madrid.