Cristiano Ronaldo named Fifa men’s player of the year
He edges Lionel Messi after Real Madrid win Champions League for second year running
Real Madrid and Portugal forward Cristiano Ronaldo kisses the trophy after winning the Best Fifa Men’s Player of 2017 award. Photograph: Getty Images
Cristiano Ronaldo has won the Fifa men’s player of the year award.
Ronaldo retained the prize after scoring 44 goals in 48 appearances in 2017, including 33 for Real Madrid and 11 for Portugal.
The forward collected his award at a ceremony held at the London Palladium on Monday, with fellow nominees Lionel Messi and Neymar both in the crowd.
“Thank you a lot to the guys for voting for me,” Ronaldo said.
Both Ireland manager Martin O’Neill and captain Seamus Coleman voted for Ronaldo
“(I want) To give a mention to Leo and Neymar to be here, Real Madrid supporters, my team-mates, my coach, my president — they support me all the year so I have to say thank you to them.
“We are in England for the first time and I win consecutive awards. This is a great moment for me.”
Lieke Martens won the women’s player award after inspiring Holland to victory on home soil at Euro 2017.
The Barcelona forward came out in front of fellow nominees Carli Lloyd, who collected the award last year, and Deyna Castellanos.
The event was attended by a host of stars past and present, including Diego Maradona, former Brazil striker Ronaldo, Frank Lampard and Sergio Ramos, with winners decided by a jury of club and international coaches, captains, media representatives and fans. Both Ireland manager Martin O’Neill and captain Seamus Coleman voted for Ronaldo.
Ronaldo’s triumph stole the show, however, the 32-year-old receiving recognition for another stellar year in which he won both the Champions League and LaLiga with Real Madrid.
It means he has now picked up three of the last four Ballon d’Or awards, as well as the latest two Fifa Men’s Player prizes.
Fifa is running its own awards for the second consecutive time after ending its partnership with France Football’s Ballon d’Or in 2016.
Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud won the Fifa Puskas Award for best goal after his stunning ‘scorpion-kick’ against Crystal Palace in January.
The Frenchman’s effort, a flicked volley with his left foot that flew in off the crossbar, beat off competition from Venezuela’s Deyna Castellanos and South African goalkeeper Oscarine Masuluke
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte was shortlisted for men’s coach of the year but the Italian, who lifted the Premier League title in his first season in England, lost out to Zinedine Zidane.
Zidane became the first coach to win back-to-back Champions League titles as Madrid beat Juventus in the final in May. He also led Los Blancos to their first league title in five years. Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri was also shortlisted.
The Italian club boasted their own winner in London, however, as their goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon won the best goalkeeper prize.
The 39-year-old guided Juve to a sixth consecutive Serie A title and managed 600 Champions League minutes without conceding a goal.
“I am very happy, for me it is a great honour to receive this award at my age,” Buffon said.
There was not one English player named in the FifPro World XI, nor even one from the Premier League.
Buffon was the goalkeeper selected while Paris St Germain’s Dani Alves and AC Milan’s Leonardo Bonucci were picked in defence, along with Madrid pair Sergio Ramos and Marcelo.
Madrid’s Luka Modric and Toni Kroos were included in midfield, together with Barcelona playmaker Andres Iniesta.
The three nominees for the Men’s Player Award — Ronaldo, Messi of Barcelona and Neymar of PSG — took the three attacking spots.
Celtic supporters won the Fan Award, recognising their celebrations in May for the 50th anniversary of the club winning the European Cup.
Fans at Celtic Park held up coloured cards that spelled out ‘Lisbon Lions’ in tribute to Celtic’s 1967 triumph over Inter Milan in the Portuguese capital.
The women’s coach category was won by Holland boss Sarina Wiegman, who led the Dutch national team to the Euro 2017 title on home soil, while the Fair Play Award went to Francis Kone.
Kone saved the life of goalkeeper Martin Berkovec, who almost suffocated by swallowing his tongue during a Czech league match in February.