RONALDO CROWNED FIFA’S BEST PLAYER IN THE WORLD
Cristiano Ronaldo has been crowned the world’s best player at FIFA’s annual awards gala in Zurich.
The Real Madrid superstar enjoyed a fantastic 2016, and has now beaten his perennial rival Lionel Messi and Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann to the prize.
“It’s a great feeling, as I mentioned many times last year was a dream year, no doubt about that,” the striker said at the ceremony shortly before receiving the prize.
“Real Madrid win the Champions League and the national team won the Euros for the first time in history. Unbelievable season. I’m so proud and happy.
“I have to say thank you to my team-mates of Real Madrid, and team-mates of Portugal and the coaches. It was an amazing year.”
Ronaldo scored a total of 59 goals for both club and country throughout the 12 months, as his career reached new heights.
The Portugal international, despite suffering an injury in the final, guided his country to Euro 2016 glory, scoring three goals and cajoling his team-mates from the sidelines after being stretchered off.
Eder’s late goal ensured that Ronaldo lifted the trophy in France, with Griezmann – the player to outscore him in the tournament – on the losing side in the showpiece.
Ronaldo also scored the winning penalty in the Champions League final, as Real defeated Griezmann’s Atletico at San Siro in Milan, and was rewarded with a staggering new deal until 2021.
The 31-year-old’s incredible year – which also saw him named the world’s highest paid sports star – was capped in December, when he was awarded his fourth Ballon d’Or award.
While Messi, the man who has forever threatened to overshadow Ronaldo during an era of individual footballing dominance, scored a sensational 55 goals throughout 2016, he was topped by four goals by Ronaldo, though he did guide Barcelona to La Liga glory.
Ronaldo was recently linked with a mind-boggling move to China, with a £257 million bid mooted, but the former Manchester United star appears set to continue his battle for supremacy with Messi and Griezmann in La Liga.