Cristiano Ronaldo has been named as the best player on the planet for a fourth time in his glittering career.
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In FIFA’s newly launched “The Best Awards” Ronaldo, 31, won the top individual award ahead of Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann.
Speaking in Zurich, Switzerland on Monday, the Real Madrid star was delighted.
“As I mentioned many times, last year was a dream year,” Ronaldo said. “With Real Madrid we win the Champions League and with the national team we won the first time in history. Uneliavable season. So proud and happy. I have to say thank you to my teammates in Real Madrid and the national team and the coaches. Amazing year.”
Ronaldo has previously won this award in 2008, 2013 and 2014 as the tussle between himself and Messi for world dominance has dominated much of the past decade.
The award was handed out in a glitzy ceremony as FIFA started up its own awards ceremony after sharing the Ballon d’Or award with France Football from 2010-15 which formerly crowned its best player.
Ronaldo also won the Ballon d’Or for 2016 and it is not difficult to understand why.
The Portuguese forward scored 51 goals in 48 games in all competitions for Real Madrid in the 2015-16 season and led them to the UEFA Champions League tittle against crosstown rivals Atletico Madrid. Ronaldo was then influential in Portugal winning EURO 2016 as he captained his nation to its first-ever major trophy.
That victory cemented Ronaldo’s spot among the legends of the game, if that was ever in any doubt, and this final award for his heroics in 2016 was well deserved as he continues his personal quest with Messi.
In terms of World Player of the Year awards the scoreline now reads: Messi 5-4 Ronaldo.