“2016, The Best Year Of My Career”- Ronaldo
10 January 2017 Sport
Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo has been named the world’s best player at the inaugural Best FIFA Football Awards in Zurich.
The award comes off the back of Ronaldo winning the 61st edition of the Ballon d’Or in December following a stellar year which saw him achieve Champions League and Euro 2016 success with Real Madrid and Portugal.
“Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow. It’s incredible. I want to thank my team-mates of Real Madrid and the coach,” said Ronaldo upon picking up his award.
“Thanks for everything you have done for me. I must thank my family and my whole staff for everything they have given me. 2016 was the best year of my career.
“I had a lot of doubts, but at the end of it the trophies speak for themselves. They show I’ve lived up to the expectations and I achieved the best I could.
“This achievement is incredible. I will never forget this year. I’m really happy.”
“It was my best year so far,” said Ronaldo. “The trophy for Portugal was amazing. I was so happy and of course I cannot forget the Champions League and the Club World Cup. We ended the year in the best way. I’m so glad to win a lot of trophies, collective and individual. I’m so, so proud.”
The former Manchester United forward had been the favourite for the award, following a year in which he continued to deliver remarkable statistics. These included:
. 44 games, 42 goals, 14 assists.
. The third best minutes-per-goal rate (83.68) of anyone scoring a minimum of 10 goals across Europe’s top five leagues during 2016, behind Luis Suarez (82.57) and Radamel Falcao (59.6).
. Finishing top scorer in the Champions League in 2015-16 with 16 goals, seven more than second-placed Robert Lewandowski.
Ronaldo and Messi have a history of not voting for each other for major awards and they continued that habit, both filling their top three with club-mates.
Portugal captain Ronaldo opted for Gareth Bale, Luka Modric and Sergio Ramos.
Messi, the Argentina captain, went for Luis Suarez, Neymar and Andres Iniesta.
Ronaldo had earlier been named in the FIFPro World 11, while Leicester City boss Claudio Ranieri claimed the FIFA Coach of the Year award.
Meanwhile, Lionel Messi was not at the event, nor were any of his Barca team-mates due to team commitments.