Real Madrid goal machine Cristiano Ronaldo is the first winner of the FIFA’s Best Men’s Player award for 2016 after beating Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann on the three-man shortlist to claim the prize in Zurich.
Ronaldo, who picked up his fourth Ballon d’Or in December, also landed the first separate prize since FIFA and France Football announced in September that they would be presenting two separate awards.
First awarded in 1991, the FIFA Best Player award (then known as FIFA World Player of the Year) was merged with France Football’s Ballon d’Or from 2010 through 2015 — to become the FIFA Ballon d’Or — but France Football magazine announced new rule changes for its award last year and ended its six-year association with FIFA.
In winning the FIFA Best Player award Ronaldo, who scored 61 goals and registered 20 assists in 60 games for club and country during voting period, earned 34.54 percent of total votes.
Messi finished second with 26.42 percent with Greizmann third at 7.53 percent.
The women’s award was won by American Carli Lloyd while the men’s Coach of the Year Award in the meantime has been won by Claudio Ranieri of English Premier League champions Leicester City while Germany’s Silvia Neid received the women’s honour.
Mohd Faiz Subri won the Puskas Award for the best goal of the year with nearly 60 percent of the vote, for his free kick in the Malaysian Super League.
Reggae Boyz head coach Theodore ‘Tappa’ Whitmore was among a group dignitaries who attended the ceremony.
Ronaldo: 61 goals, 20 assists in 60 games for club and country during voting period (48 goals in 47 games for Real Madrid; 13 in 13 games for Portugal). Won both the UEFA Champions League with Real Madrid and Euro 2016 with Portugal in a stunning year
Messi: 59 goals, 34 assists in 64 games (51 goals in 53 games for Barcelona; eight in 11 games for Argentina) and lost in the Copa America final to Chile.
Griezmann: 41 goals, 13 assists in 69 games (33 goals in 54 games for Atletico Madrid; eight in 15 games for France). Finished as Euro 2016 top scorer.