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Ronaldo with the coveted trophy with Portugal’s national coach, Fernando Santos. FIFA's best men's footballer of 2016 is the latest prize after a glittering year for the Portugal and Real Madrid star / Photo: FIFA

Cristiano Ronaldo wins FIFA best player award for 2016

Cristiano Ronaldo was named FIFA’s best men’s footballer of 2016 on Monday, the latest prize after a glittering year for the Portugal and Real Madrid star, who has won everything this year.

Ronaldo bested France’s Antoine Greizmann and long-time Barcelona rival Lionel Messi of Argentina for the honour.

Ronaldo also won the Ballon d’Or in December, with both honours recognition for success in the Champions League with Real and Euro 2016 with Portugal.

“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 on the stage in Zurich.

The honour makes Ronaldo the first man to win the FIFA “Best” men’s player distinction.

World football’s governing body has launched the new award series after ending its six-year collaboration with France Football magazine for the Ballon d’Or.

“This is the first time that I have won this award, and I’m very happy. I’d like to thank my teammates in the Portuguese national side, Real Madrid, and my coach. I hope my coach wins the manager’s award next time,” said Ronaldo.

Carli Lloyd of the United States was named the world’s best female player.

Leicester’s Claudio Ranieri was named best men’s coach, ex-Germany boss Silvia Neid won the female coach award, while Penang’s Mohd Faiz Subri received the Puskas award for the best goal of 2016.

For the past six years, the world’s best player has received the Fifa Ballon d’Or award.

A version of that prize has been awarded by France Football magazine since 1956, but last year world football’s governing body ended its association with that honour.

Instead, it introduced the Best Fifa Football Awards, with Ronaldo the first recipient of its main prize.

Voting for the player and coach categories was by national team captains and managers, selected journalists and, for the first time, an online poll of fans.

Chima Duru

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