Portugal soccer team captain and Real Madrid FC star Christiano Ronaldo has bagged the inaugural Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) best player of the year award on January 9.
Ronaldo after receiving the award said,”2016 was the best year for me. A magnificent year at both personal and sports levels.” Ronaldo received the trophy from FIFA President Gianni Infantino.
31-year-old Portugal star edged out long-time competitor Leonel Messi and France’s Antoine Griezmann who were on the top of the list at this summer’s European championship.
Ronaldo had already won the Ballon d’Or after his third Champions League title (16 goals in 12 games) as well as triumphing with Portugal at Euro 2016, the country’s first major prize.
Apart from the best player, Leicester City’s Claudio Ranieri bagged the best men’s coach award following his side’s fairytale Premier League triumph. Under Ranieri’s leadership, Leicester marked one of the greatest shocks in English football history by defying title odds of 5,000-1 to lift the Premier League trophy last season.
In women’s category, US midfielder Carli Lloyd received the best women’s player of 2016, the two-time Olympic gold medallist adding to her 2015 FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year accolade.
Spain’s La Liga accounted for nine of the 11 players in the FIFPro team of the year with Ronaldo and Messi headlining a star-studded line-up.