The most prestigious award at the annual gala in Dubai was voted for by more than eight million fans from 230 countries, and saw Ronaldo take 33 per cent of the vote.
Surprisingly, Salah came second in the vote, which takes into consideration performances from the period 2000 to 2020. The Liverpool winger received 25% of the vote.
Ronaldo’s long-term rival Messi could only manage third, taking 20% of the poll.
Ronaldinho was fourth with 7% and Robert Lewandowski fifth with 4%.
The only other player to take more than 1% was Zinedine Zidane with 2%.
“Being here with great champions such as Robert Lewandoski, Gerard Pique and Iker Casillas is amazing,” Ronaldo said.
“Iker is an incredible example for everyone, when he had his problem, he made us understand that we need to value what we have. I am 36, but I still love football, my life and my family,” he added.
“This award is giving me motivation, it’s amazing to be part of this event, this is a big honour for me. I hope the pandemic will be over next season and more people will be here. Thanks for his trophy, I am really happy. I hope I can continue to play for a few years.”