Real Madrid talisman Cristiano Ronaldo won the inaugural edition of the male best footballer of the year award at a swanky ceremony in Zurich on Monday.
The 31-year-old Portugal forward was the overwhelming favourite, beating old nemesis Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann to the gong after a stellar 12 months in which he won Euro 2016, the Champions League and the UEFA Super Cup as well as the Ballon d’Or.
“This achievement is incredible on a personal level. Unbelievable, I will never forget this year. I am very happy. Thank you everyone, I don’t really have anything else to add. The awards I think speak for themselves,” Ronaldo, who attended the event alongside his girlfriend Georgina Rodriguez and son Cristiano Jnr said.
“I’m just very happy. I’m sorry some people from Barcelona aren’t here, but that’s understandable.
“It’s incredible, it’s not the first time but it’s the first of this. First and foremost I must thank my team-mates of Real Madrid and the coach. Thank you for everything you have done for me. I’ve also got to thank my family, my brothers, my mum, my whole staff 100 per cent for everything they’ve given me.
“2016 was the best year of my career. I had a lot of doubts but at the end I think the trophies speak for themselves. I achieved the best I could in the competitions and after I won what I did.”
Elsewhere, Mohd Faiz Subri scooped the FIFA Puskas Award for best goal of the year.
The Malaysian, who read his acceptance speech from his phone, received the award after picking up the most votes from football fans across the world. His incredible goal for Penang was voted the best by fans.
Meanwhile, Leicester City’s Italian manager Claudio Ranieri was voted best male FIFA football manager for 2016 ahead of Pep Guardiola and Fernando Santos after the former Chelsea boss guided the Foxes to the English Premier League title against all odds.
FIFA THE BEST 2016 AWARD WINNERS
Men’s Player – Cristiano Ronaldo
Women’s Player – Carli Lloyd
Men’s Coach – Claudio Ranieri
Women’s Coach – Silvia Neid
Fair Play Award – Atletico Nacional
Award for Outstanding Career – Falcao
Puskas Award – Mohd Faiz Subri
Fan Award – Borussia Dortmund and Liverpool supporters.
FIFAPro World XI – Manuel Neuer, Dani Alves, Marcelo, Gerard Pique, Sergio Ramos, Andres Iniesta, Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez.