Cristiano Ronaldo Beats Lionel Messi To Win Fifa Best Player Award
Cristiano Ronaldo was named the world’s best player at the inaugural Best Fifa Football Awards in Zurich.
Real Madrid and Portugal forward Ronaldo, 31, beat Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann to the prize.
Ronaldo also won the Ballon d’Or in December,with both honours recognition for success in the Champions League with Real and Euro 2016 with Portugal.
Carli Lloyd of the United States was named the world’s best female player.
Leicester’s Claudio Ranieri was named best men’s coach, ex-Germany boss Silvia Neid won the female coach award, while Penang’s Mohd Faiz Subri received the Puskas award for the best goal of 2016.
For the past six years, the world’s best player has received the Fifa Ballon d’Or award.
A version of that prize has been awarded by France Football magazine since 1956, but last year world football’s governing body ended its association with that honour.
Instead, it introduced the Best Fifa Football Awards, with Ronaldo the first recipient of its main prize.
Voting for the player and coach categories was by national team captains and managers, selected journalists and, for the first time, an online poll of fans.
2016 was quite a year for Ronaldo.
As well as scoring the decisive penalty in the shootout to win the Champions League, 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 Messi does not – the honour of being named best Fifa men’s player.
The former Manchester United forward had been the favourite for the award, following a year in which he continued to deliver remarkable statistics. These included:
- 44 games, 42 goals, 14 assists.
- The third best minutes-per-goal rate (83.68) of anyone scoring a minimum of 10 goals across Europe’s top five leagues during 2016, behind Luis Suarez (82.57) and Radamel Falcao (59.6).
- Finishing top scorer in the Champions League in 2015-16 with 16 goals, seven more than second-placed Robert Lewandowski.
“As I have mentioned many times, 2016 was a dream year,” said Ronaldo. “Real Madrid won the Champions League and the national team won the European Championship.”
Ronaldo and Messi have a history of not voting for each other for major awards and they continued that habit, both filling their top three with club-mates.
Portugal captain Ronaldo opted for Gareth Bale, Luka Modric and Sergio Ramos.
Messi, the Argentina captain, went for Luis Suarez, Neymar and Andres Iniesta.
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