The Telegraph
Tuesday , January 10 , 2017

CR7 is Fifa's best too

Cristiano Ronaldo with the Men's Player of the Year trophy

Zurich: Cristiano Ronaldo won Fifa's rebranded Player of the Year award on Monday, beating his old rival Lionel Messi who was pulled out of the ceremony only a few hours earlier by his club Barcelona.

Italian Claudio Ranieri won the Coach of the Year award for leading outsiders Leicester City to the EPL title last season.

The 31-year-old Ronaldo was rewarded for a year in which he won the Champions League with his club Real Madrid and then Euro 2016 with Portugal. Argentine Messi was second in the vote and Frenchman Antoine Griezmann third.

"I'd like to thank my team, the national team, Real Madrid, my trainer, my family members who came here, my son, my brothers... The year 2016 was the best year of my career, the trophy shows that people aren't blind and they watch the games.

"With everything I won with my national team and club, with great individual performance, I can't forget this incredible year. Thanks for voting for me," said Ronaldo as he was presented the award by Fifa president Gianni Infantino.

Messi missed the ceremony along with all other Barcelona players who had been invited. "With the aim of prioritising preparations for Wednesday's game against Athletic Club, FC Barcelona have decided that the players recognised in the awards will not be travelling to Switzerland for the ceremony," said the club in a statement.

Ronaldo also won France Football's Ballon d'Or, the other major international award for the sport, last month. He also won the old Fifa award once in 2008 and also in 2013 and 2014.

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