Ronaldo Retains FIFA Best Player Award

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*Zidane wins best coach award with Real Madrid dominating World XI
Duro Ikhazuagbe

Portugal and Real Madrid superstar, Cristiano Ronaldo last night won the 2017 Best FIFA Men’s Player of the Year trophy for the second year running. He won the inaugural edition last year following the end of a six-year merger between the FIFA and the Ballon D’Or.

Ronaldo dominated a star-studded awards ceremony at the Palladium Theatre in London with Argentina great Diego Maradona and Brazil’s Ronaldo de Lima presenting him with the silverware.
Argentina and Barcelona star, Lionel Messi and Brazil and PSG star, Neymar were the other nominees for the award.

Real Madrid gaffer, Zinedine Zidane, clinched the Best Coach of the Year award.
The Portuguese ace, who has scored 44 goals in just 48 games for club and country so far this calendar year, played a major role in Real winning both La Liga and the UEFA Champions League.

With this award, Ronaldo has equaled Messi’s five-time world best player record.
Zidane on the other hand, did not just win the gaffers’ top award, the French man had five of his Real Madrid players listed in FIFA’s World XI of the year.

Speaking after he was presented with his award, Ronaldo said: “Thanks a lot for voting for me,” said the Portuguese superstar.
“I mention Leo and Neymar, great to be here. Real Madrid supporters, my teammates, my coach, they all support me all year.

“We are in England for the first time and I win consecutive awards,” he added. “I am really glad, this is a great moment for me. I have fans all over the world,” gushed Ronaldo.
Dutch duo Lieke Martens and Sarina Wiegman were rewarded as The Best FIFA Women’s Player and Women’s coach of the year.

Despite approaching his 40th birthday, Gianluigi Buffon proved that age is just a number by being named The Best FIFA Goalkeeper, with the Italian custodian on hand to pick up the inaugural award to celebrate the men between the sticks.

After picking up The Best FIFA Goalkeeper, it was no surprise that the Juve and Azzurri stopper was also named the top goalkeeper by his peers, in a FIFA FIFPro World11 dominated by Real Madrid players.

Ronaldo was joined in the star-studded World XI by club team-mates Sergio Ramos, Marcelo, Toni Kroos and Luka Modric, with Dani Alves, Leonardo Bonucci, Andres Iniesta, Lionel Messi and Neymar completed the dream team.

Fans from around the globe voted in their hundreds of thousands for the Puskás and FIFA Fan Awards, with
Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud was the ultimate winner of the Puskás and FIFA Fan Awards.
The Frenchman’s superb ‘scorpion kick’ goal scored for Arsenal against Crystal Palace in the English Premier League last January gave him the honour.

Celtic supporters scooped the second Fan Award, thanks to their stunning 360-degree card tribute to the ‘Lisbon Lions’.

In an evening sprinkled by show business, with star of small and large screen Idris Elba hosting proceedings, it was a true story fit for Hollywood that saw the FIFA Fair Play Award handed to Francis Kone.

The Togolese forward saved the life of an opponent by administering on-pitch first aid after a collision – the fourth time he had saved a player’s life on the football pitch.

THE FULL LIST OF WINNERS
MEN’S BEST PLAYER: Cristiano Ronaldo
WOMEN’S BEST PLAYER: Lieke Martens
MEN’S BEST COACH: Zinedine Zidane
WOMEN’S BEST COACH: Sarina Wiegman
BEST GOALKEEPER: Gianluigi Buffon
PUSKÁS AWARD: Olivier Giroud
FAN AWARD: Celtic supporters
FAIR PLAY AWARD: Francis Kone
WORLD XI: Gianluigi Buffon; Dani Alves, Leonardo Bonucci, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo; Toni Kroos, Andres Iniesta, Luka Modric; Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Neymar.