Real Madrid’s striker Cristiano Ronaldo was crowned the best soccer player in the world for the second year running at Fifa’s The Best awards gala on Monday. The Portuguese was delighted to retain the prize at a gala ceremony in London, where football legends from all over the world came together at the Palladium Theatre to celebrate this year’s achievements.
By winning the Fifa award for the fifth time, he concurrent was equalling his great rival Messi, who finished second in the vote. Looked at in headline terms, it was probably fair. The Argentinian outscored the Portuguese and was his usual sublime self. But Ronaldo had an amazing year with Real Madrid winning La Liga and the Champions League.
In addition the four-time Ballon d’Or winner was striking twice against Juventus in the European Cup final to help Real become the first team to retain the trophy in its current format. Beside many others important and fascinating goals, CR7 became the top scorer of the last Champions League season once again.
The third name on the blameless shortlist, next to Messi and Ronaldo, was Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior, lately player of Barcelona, now of Paris Saint‑Germain.
But it surprised no one, that the portugese would win the award with an huge advance this year and getting the most votes by the national team coaches and captains plus the media and fans.
The Best Fifa Men’s Player award and the Ballon d’or, which is voted for only by the media, are now separate awards.
In his winning speech, beside Thanksgivings to his coach and teammates, the 32-year old did not forget his countless fans from all over the world:
“I’m really glad. This is a great moment for me. I know I have fans all over the world so thank you for the support. I appreciate that.”
What is also for sure, that is was a perfect year for Champions League Winner Real Madrid, which also reflects in the results of this year`s awards.
On the one hand the “Los Blancos” Coach and football-legend Zinedine Zidane won the manager of the year trophy for his part in the club’s success, winning amongst others La Liga last season and letting rival FC Barcelona behind.
On the other hand five Real players were named in the best XI of the year, with Marcelo, Sergio Ramos, Luka Modric and Toni Kroos joining Ronaldo, while Messi, Neymar, Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Dani Alves (PSG), Leonardo Bonucci (AC Milan) and Andres Iniesta (Barcelona) were also selected.
A host of other awards were also presented on the night, with Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud receiving the Puskas Award for his stunning scorpion kick against Crystal Palace.
But the most important one at this evening went to Ronaldo. Being the best player of the year and being better than superstars like Neymar or Messi once again also makes someone proud, who has won everything there is to win for a footballer already.
And it wouldnt be CR7, if he would just have returned to his hotel after the event and spent the Tuesday recovering from all the excitement. Instead, he decided to celebrate some more in the most ‘Cristiano Ronaldo’ way imaginable.
Sitting on a throne with a ball in his hands – you know, because he is king of the sport, obviously – Ronaldo posed for an ostentatious photoshoot.