Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo has beaten Lionel Messi and Neymar to win The Best FIFA Men’s Player award for the second year running.
Ronaldo, who won the inaugural prize last year, was presented the award at The Best FIFA Football Awards ceremony in London on Monday.
The Portugal captain had been favourite to claim the accolade after a year that saw him help Madrid to a third Champions League crown in four seasons and a first La Liga title in five years, as well as the FIFA Club World Cup.
Ronaldo scored twice as Madrid beat Juventus 4-1 in the Champions League final, while also finishing top scorer in the competition with 12 goals.
The award, which covers the period of Nov. 20, 2016, to July 2, 2017, is voted for by national team coaches, captains, selected media and fans. Once again, neither Messi nor Ronaldo voted for each other.
All tallied, Ronaldo won 43.16 percent of the total votes, while Lionel Messi came away with 19.25 percent and Neymar just 6.97 percent.
Amazing feeling to have won this award again. Want to dedicate to my family, my friends, my teammates and coaches from both Real Madrid and Portuguese NT and everyone who supported me. pic.twitter.com/umpYMo1JZg
— Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano) October 23, 2017
“Thank you a lot to the guys for voting for me,” Ronaldo said in accepting the award. “[I want] to give a mention to Leo and Neymar to be here, Real Madrid supporters, my teammates, my coach, my president –they support me all the year so I have to say thank you to them.
“We are in England for the first time and I win consecutive awards. This is a great moment for me.”
The Madrid man will hope to follow up this success by winning the 2017 Ballon d’Or, which would see him draw level with Messi in having won the prize five times. FIFA ran its own awards for the second time after ending its partnership with France Football.
Ronaldo said of his competition with Messi for top individual honours: “I do not compete with Leo. We are sharing the same era, he won the trophy five times and I did it another five…
“I’m just happy, I play in the best club in the world and I have the possibility to prove that I am still at a high level high.”
He then jokingly said the Cristiano-Messi era “is just starting.”
Also at Monday’s award ceremony, Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane was named The Best FIFA Men’s Coach.
Zidane won the award over fellow finalists Massimiliano Allegri of Juventus and Antonio Conte of Chelsea, both of whom won domestic league titles this year.
In a new award this year, Gianluigi Buffon was named The Best FIFA Goalkeeper for his play with Juventus and Italy. Buffon was also named to the FIFPro World 11 for the first time in a decade.
Buffon guided Juve to a sixth consecutive Serie A title and managed 600 Champions League minutes without conceding a goal. The 39-year-old held off competition from fellow nominees Keylor Navas of Real Madrid and Manuel Neuer of Bayern Munich.
“I am very happy, for me it is a great honour to receive this award at my age,” Buffon said. “I think the last year has been a fantastic season for Juventus and for me personally. It wasn’t enough to win in Europe and for this year I hope that we can play better and with the national team and Juventus.”
Netherlands’ Lieke Martens won The Best FIFA Women’s Player award over last year’s winner, Carli Lloyd of the U.S., while Dutch coach Sarina Wiegman received the women’s coach award after winning Euro 2017 this summer.
Arsenal forward Olivier Giroud won the Puskas Award for the year’s best goal after his acrobatic scorpion kick against Crystal Palace in the Premier League in January.
Celtic received the FIFA Fan Award for their 360-degree tifo display honouring the 50th anniversary of their European Cup-winning team.
The Fair Play Award went to Slovacko’s Francis Kone, who saved the life of Martin Berkovec during a Czech First League game, after the Bohemians goalkeeper was knocked unconscious in a collision with a teammate.
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