RONALDO WINS INAUGURAL FIFA BEST PLAYER AWARD
Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo won the inaugural FIFA best player award in a ceremony held at the Swiss TV Studio in Zurich, Switzerland.
This makes the fourth time for the Portuguese star forward. The FIFA Awards 2016 gala saw a host of other football awards being given out for outstanding efforts last year.
2016 has been a tremendous year for Ronaldo. The 31-year old player beat rival Lionel Messi to win the award, as expected, after an amazing year. The player won the Ballon d’Or last month – awarded by France Football, and was widely anticipated to get the FIFA version as well. Messi came second while France international Antoine Griezmann placed third.
After recording yet another UEFA Champions League title win with Madrid, and going on to supersede limitations with his national team side by lifting the Euro 2016 last summer, there was no stopping Ronaldo. The former Manchester United player becomes the first recipient of the Best FIFA Football Awards since the split from France Football – they both jointly awarded the Ballon d’Or for over five years.
However, voting for the award remains done by national team captains, managers and top journalists. This year, FIFA included an online poll of fans for the first time in picking put the eventual winners.
Ronaldo ended last term as the highest goal scorer in the Champions League with 16 goals, seven more than Robert Lewandowski who finished behind him in second place. He had the third best minutes per goal behind Luis Suarez and Radamel Falcao aisde contributing 42 goals and 14 assists in 44 games to the Santiago Bernabeu set-up.
Ronaldo and Messi – two archrivals – continued their history of not voting for each other, preferring to vote club mates. This year Ronaldo voted Gareth Bale, Luka Modric and Sergio Ramos while the Argentine star went with Luis Suarez, Neymar and Andres Iniesta.