Portugal and Real Madrid forward, Cristiano Ronaldo, claimed his fourth FIFA best player award on Monday, after a scintillating 2016 where he won both major European titles.
Ronaldo, who got 34.54 percent of total voting points in a 23-candidate ballot beat runner-up and great rival Lionel Messi, who received 26.42 percent, and third-place Griezmann with 7.53 percent.
Voting was by national team captains and coaches, selected media, and fans online.
The 31-year-old scored 61 goals and registered 20 assists in 60 games for club and country during voting period.
Messi’s Barcelona won the Spanish league and cup double in 2016, though Argentina lost another Copa America final. Griezmann’s France and Atletico Madrid lost their finals to Ronaldo’s teams.
Ronaldo’s 2016 trophy haul included the European Championship, Champions League, and Club World Cup, plus individual best player awards from UEFA and France Football magazine.
“I’d like to thank my team, national team, Real Madrid, my trainer, my family that came here, my son, my brothers,” Ronaldo said while accepting the award.
“2016 was the best year of my career, the trophy shows that people aren’t blind and watch the games.
“With everything I won with my national team and club, with great individual performance, I can’t forget this incredible year. Thanks for voting for me.
“I don’t have much more to say, I think the awards speak for themselves. I’m not going to do the scream, just the motion”, he said.
Messi and his Barcelona teammates did not attend the awards, and the Portuguese was qyick to point that out in his acceptance speech.
“Of course, I wish that they (Barcelona players) had been here tonight like in the other years. We have to respect the decision,” Ronaldo added.
US midfielder Carli Lloyd scooped the best women’s player of 2016, the two-time Olympic gold medallist adding to her 2015 FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year accolade.
Leicester City’s Claudio Ranieri received the best men’s coach award following his side’s fairytale Premier League triumph
Under Ranieri’s leadership, Leicester pulled off one of the greatest shocks in English football history by defying title odds of 5,000-1 to lift the Premier League trophy last season.
“What happened last year was something strange. The God of football said Leicester must win,” said Ranieri, who miraculously avoided relegation the previous season.
The Puskas Award for best goal was won in an online poll by Mohd Faiz Subri, who scored with a wildly swerving long-range free kick for Malaysian club Penang.
Meanwhile, FIFA gave its Fair Play Award to Atletico Nacional, the Colombian club which was scheduled to host Chapecoense in the first leg of the Copa Sudamericana final on Nov. 30.
After most of the Brazilian team died in a plane crash flying to the match, Atletico Nacional asked the South American soccer confederation to present the title and trophy to Chapecoense.