Ronaldo wins FIFA’s player of the year award

It was Cristiano Ronaldo who was name FIFA’s player of the year on Monday at a ceremony. . Ronaldo has won this title for the fourth time beating his old rival Lionel Messi who was pulled out a few hours earlier by his club Barcelona. Ronaldo was rewarded for his amazing performance in 2016 when he won the Champions League with his club Real Madrid and then Euro 2016 with Portugal. Five times winner and four times runner up Messi was second and Frenchman Antonie Griezmann third. Italian Claudio Ranieri won the coach of the year award for leading rank outsiders Leicester City to the English Premier League title.

Barcelona said that Wednesday’s game against Athletic Bilbao would take priority over the ceremony and that none of their invited players would travel, which disappointed Ronaldo. Ronaldo after accepting the award from FIFA president Gianni Infantino said “I would like Messi to have been here today but they have an important game on Wednesday and we can understand that,” “I don’t have much more to say, I think the awards speak for themselves,” he added. “I’m very happy and I can say that 2016 was the best year of my career, the trophy shows that people aren’t blind and watch the games.”

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FIFA jointly organised this award with France Football magazine from 2010 to 2015 when it was named the Ballon D’Or, rebranded it as “The Best” this year after splitting with the French publication. France Football also continued with its own award which was also won by Ronaldo last month. This award ceremony was previously held at the Kongresshaus theatre in central Zurich, this year took place in the much more modest setting of a television studio on an industrial estate near the airport.

Ronaldo has previously won in 2008, 2013, 2014 with Messi second on each occasion. Messi won from 2009-12 and then again in 2015 with Ronaldo second on every occasion except in 2010 when Andres Iniesta was runner-up.

After winning the best coach’s award ahead of Fernando Santos who led Portugal to the Euro 2016 title Ranieri said he was “crazy.”

Colombian side Atletico Nacional were given the Fair Play Award for conceding to Copa Sudamericana title to Brazilian side Chapecoense, whose team was decimated when a plane taking to the final crashed, killing 71 people.

Club president, Juan Carlos de La Cuesta said, “We did nothing more than what we had to do….handing them this trophy as a gesture of hope.”

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