Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo on Monday won FIFA best player of the year award after beating his rival Lionel Messi and Atletico Madrid striker Antione Griezmann to add to his wealth of titles.
Italiano Claudio Ranieri won the coach of the year for leading rank outsiders Leicester city to the English premier league title.
Cristiano Ronaldo was rewarded for his performance when he won the champions league with his club Real Madrid and then Euro 2016 with his country Portugal. Five-times winner and four times runner-up Lionel Messi was second and Frenchman Antione Griezmann came third.
Barcelona said that their Wednesday match against Athletic Bilbao is of great priority to them and that was why most Barca players who were nominated were not there, including Lionel Messi.
In a statement, Ronaldo said, after receiving the FIFA best player of the year award from FIFA president Gianni Infantino, “I would like Messi to have been here today but they have an important game on Wednesday, which we understand. ”
“I don’t have much more to say, I think the award speaks for themselves. I’m happy and I can say that 2016 was the best year of my career, the trophies show that people aren’t blind and watch the games,” he added.
FIFA, which organized the award jointly with France Football magazine from 2010 to 2015 when it was named Ballon d’Or, rebranded it as “The Best” this year after splitting with the French publication.
France Football continued with its own award which was also won by Cristiano Ronaldo last month.
The ceremony, previously held at the Kongresshaus theater in Central Zurich, took place this year a very modest setting of a television studio in an industrial estate near the airport.
Cristiano Ronaldo has previously won FIFA Best player of the year award in 2008, 2013, 2014, with Messi runner-up on each occasion. Messi won from 2009 to 2012 and then in 2015 with Ronaldo runner-up on each occasion except in 2010 when Andres Iniesta was the runner-up.
Ranieri said he was “crazy” after winning the best coach award ahead of Fernando Santos who led Portugal to win the Euro 2016 title.
“I’m crazy now,” he said. “What happened in England last season was something strange. The football gods said Leicester must win.”
Columbian side Athletico Nacional was given the fair play award for conceding Copa Sudamericana to Brazilian side Chapecoense, whose team was decimated after the plane that was bringing the team crashed and killed 71 people.
“We did nothing more than we had to do…handing them this trophy as a gesture of hope,” said the club President Juan Carlos de La Cuesta.
Mohd Faiz Subri, of Malaysian Super League side Penang, won the goal of the year award after his 35-metre free kick after the ball dipped and swung in a bewildering fashion leaving the goalkeeper stranded.
Also, during the award on Monday 9 January 2017, the 11 stars that earned a place in the FIFA FIFPro World11 2016 are Manuel Neuer, Dani Alves, Gerard Pique, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo, Luka Modric, Toni Kroos, Andres Iniesta, Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Cristiano Ronaldo.