By Philips Sunday
Zurich, (AN24) – Portugal Captain and Real Madrid play-maker, Cristiano Ronaldo has won the FIFA 2016 best men’s player award.
The Portuguese beat fellow finalists Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann to the new FIFA honour, the trio having topped a shortlist of 23 global stars.
The award adds to the Ballon d’Or crown the 31-year-old won last month, which was the fourth of his career.
Speaking after winning the award, Ronaldo said: “Wow, wow, wow – it is incredible,” Ronaldo said after being presented with the award by FIFA president Gianni Infantino.
“I’m really happy. I tell you 2016 was the best year of my career. I had a lot of doubts, but at the end of it the trophies speak for themselves.
“They show I have lived up to the expectations and I achieved the best I could. This achievement is incredible. I will never forget this year.”
The award is a modernisation of the FIFA World Player of the Year, which was last won by Messi in 2009 and had been given to Ronaldo once – in 2008 – before the merger with France Football created the FIFA Ballon d’Or.
But FIFA ended that collaboration 2016 and the winner was selected via a voting process involving national team coaches and captains, selected members of the media, and an online fan poll.
In a related development, Carli Lloyd of the United States took the women’s prize.