ZURICH – Portuguese star footballer Cristiano Ronaldo overpowered Argentine’s star player Lionel Messi to become world’s best player at the inaugural Best Fifa Football Awards 2016, here on Monday.
The 31-years-old Ronaldo crushed not just Messi but also Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann to clinch the top position.
“2016 was the best year of my career,” Ronaldo said after being handed the prize from Fifa President Gianni Infantino.
“It was a year that was magnificent at a personal level and at a sports level,” he added.
Ronaldo had already won the Ballon d’Or after his third Champions League title in December and the latest award is another endorsement of his excellence.
The star player took to Twitter to thank his teammates and fans after being declared the top star in Zurich.
Delighted to win The Best FIFA award. Wouldn't be possible without my teammates, coaches and you who support me every day. Thanks everyone! pic.twitter.com/1E1VkaYbTu
— Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano) January 9, 2017
Internationally acclaimed soccer stars from around the world including Michael Ballack felicitated Ronaldo on the award.
— Michael Ballack (@Ballack) January 9, 2017
Leicester City’s Claudio Ranieri received the best men’s coach award following his side’s Premier League victory.
Meanwhile, US midfielder Carli Lloyd scooped the best women’s player of 2016. Spain’s La Liga accounted for nine of the 11 players in the FIFPro team of the year with Ronaldo and Messi spearheading the team.
The prestigious ceremony was graced by soccer luminaries from around the world including the giant Diego Maradona.