Ronaldo is FIFA’s 2016 Best Player


Duro Ikhazuagbe with agency report

Real Madrid and Portugal forward, Cristiano Ronaldo, 31, was Monday night named the world’s best player at the inaugural Best FIFA Football Awards in Zurich, Switzerland.

He defeated Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann to win the prize.

Earlier in December, Ronaldo also won the France Football magazine’s Ballon d’Or award with both honours recognition for success in the Champions League with Real Madrid and the Euro 2016 with his native Portugal.

For the past six years, the world’s best player has received the FIFA Ballon d’Or award.

Speaking after receiving the award, Ronaldo admitted that 2016 was awesome for him.

Highlights of Ronaldo’s exploits in 2016 include; scoring the decisive penalty in the shootout to win the Champions League for Real Madrid; rescuing Real with a hat-trick in the final of the Club World Cup, captaining Portugal to Euro 2016 glory and being recognised with a fourth Ballon d’Or. He now has something Lionel Messi does not – the honour of being named Best FIFA Men’s Player for 2016.

United States of America’s Carli Lloyd was named the world’s best female player despite failing to finish on an Olympic podium for the first time at Rio 2016.

Lloyd has continued her exceptional form for both club (Houston Dash) and country.

The 34-year-old saw off competition from Brazil’s Marta and Germany’s Melanie Behringer to win the award.

For leading Leicester City out of the blues to win the English Premier League, Claudio Ranieri was named Best Men’s Coach for 2016.

Ranieri who has also led his side to the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League this season won the award ahead of Real Madrid’s Zinedine Zidane, who lifted the Champions League in his first season in charge, and Portugal’s Fernando Santos, who led his country to an unexpected success at Euro 2016 in France.

Ex-Germany boss, Silvia Neid, won the female coach of the year award.

Neid who retired in 2016 after capping an 11-year spell in charge of the women’s national team and guiding them to Olympic gold for the first time won the award ahead of USA coach, Jill Ellis and Pia Sundhage of Sweden.

He success in Rio added to her extensive trophy collection which includes the World Cup and two European Championships.

Penang’s Mohd Faiz Subri received the Puskas award for the Best Goal of 2016.

Despite being on the shortlist for best individual player, Griezmann did not make World Best XI.

The line-up features five players from Real Madrid, four from Barcelona, one from Juventus (Dani Alves, who was at Barca for the first half of 2016) and one, Manuel Neuer, from Bayern Munich. There was no Premier League player on the World XI.

The fan award went to supporters of Liverpool and German club Borussia Dortmund, who together sang a moving rendition of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ – an anthem adopted by both teams – before their Europa League quarter-final in April. The match came the day before the 27th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster, in which 96 Liverpool fans died.

Colombian side Atletico Nacional were given the fair play award for their part in the aftermath of the plane crash which killed 19 players and staff of Brazilian side Chapecoense.

Chapecoense were en route to play the first leg of their Copa Sudamericana final when the plane crashed, killing 71 people. Atletico Nacional said the title should be awarded to Chapecoense. FIFA recognised their “spirit of peace, understanding and fair play.”