New Delhi: Having already won the Ballon d’Or award, Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo was named the FIFA Player of the Year 2016, beating arch rival Lionel Messi.
What would be called an exceptional year for the former Manchester United player, he helped Portugal win the Euro 2016, beating France in the final and led Real Madrid to yet another UEFA Champions League title, the Undecima (11th European title).
Congratulations, @Cristiano Ronaldo!
Winner of #TheBest FIFA Men’s Player 2016 pic.twitter.com/6kNMWROFce
— FIFA.com (@FIFAcom) January 9, 2017
In contrast, Argentina and Barcelons superstar Messi had a forgettable 2016, in which also retired and came back from International duty after losing the Copa America title for Chile in the final.
Messi wasn’t even present at the awards ceremony after his club Barcelona had reportedly asked him not to travel following the side’s 1-1 draw against Villareal in La Liga.
Besides Ronaldo and Messi, French and Atletico Madrid star Antoine Griezmann was also in the reckoning of the title.
FIFA Men’s Player of the Year vote breakdown:
Cristiano Ronaldo: 34.54%
Lionel Messi: 26.42%
Antoine Griezmann: 7.53%
In the occasion, the world’s best eleven players were also picked by the name of FIFPro World XI.
FIFPro World XI: Manuel Neuer, Dani Alves, Gerrard Pique, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo, Luka Modric, Toni Kroos, Andres Iniesta, Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Cristinao Ronaldo
#TheBest Here is your FIFA FIFPro @World11 https://t.co/LO8lWBKxpn pic.twitter.com/OPFDHNNWVe
Also, Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund fans were crowned the winners of FIFA Fan Award. The award given for the moment when during the UEFA cup game when fans of both teams sang the song, “You will never walk alone” as a tribute to the 96 victims of the Hillsborough disaster victims.
Germany’s Silvia Neid was named the winner of the best FIFA women’s coach of 2016.
Congratulations, Silvia Neid!
Winner of the #TheBest FIFA Women’s Coach 2016 https://t.co/LO8lWBKxpn pic.twitter.com/OeDRmOnin1
Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri was named the Manager of the Year for his incredibly leading the team to the 2015-16 English Premier League title.
Congratulations, Claudio Ranieri!
Mohd Faiz Subri was named the winner of the FIFA Puskas Award 2016 for an absolute gem of a goal.
Congratulations, Mohd Faiz Subri!
Winner of the FIFA #Puskás Award 2016 #TheBest https://t.co/LO8lWBKxpn pic.twitter.com/4afxRz71wO
Carli Lloyd of USA was named FIFA Women Footballer of the Year ahead of Melanie Behringer of Germany and Marta of Brazil.
It remains to be seen who joins Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo for next year’s awards, as the duo are all but certain to make the podium yet again.