Cristiano Ronaldo was named as the Best FIFA Men’s Player for the second year running on Monday after helping Real Madrid to a LaLiga and Champions League double last season.
The Portugal star edged out perennial rival Lionel Messi and the Argentinian’s former Barcelona team-mate Neymar to win the award, which he also claimed in its inaugural year in 2016.
Ronaldo’s successes with Madrid last term were crucial in him securing yet another individual accolade, with the 32-year-old scoring 42 goals across all competitions.
The most notable achievement for Madrid was becoming the first club to retain the Champions League title since its inception in 1992, and they also wrestled the domestic crown from bitter rivals Barcelona.
Ronaldo’s goals were vital on both fronts, with his haul of 25 in LaLiga making him the division’s third top scorer behind Messi and Luis Suarez, while he also netted 12 in 13 Champions League matches, including two against Juventus in the final.
Speaking when he received his award at London Palladium, Ronaldo was quick to pay tribute to Messi and Neymar, who spent the evening sitting alongside him on the front row.
“Thank you, a lot, to the guys who voted for me. I must also mention Leo and Neymar, for being here,” he said.
“Real Madrid – the coach, the supporters and the president – they support all of the year so I say thank you to them.
“I’m really glad to win consecutive awards. This is a great moment for me. Thank you to all the fans around the world for the support. I appreciate that, thank you very much.
“It’s great to be here with these great players and I am so happy guys, thanks you so much.”
Although Messi’s season was not recognised with the individual gong, the Barcelona hero did enjoy a remarkable campaign on a personal level, scoring 54 goals in 52 games on all fronts, plus 16 assists.
It is the second successive year that Messi has finished runner-up to Ronaldo, while the former Manchester United attacker is also the favourite for the 2017 Ballon d’Or, having taken the honour last year.
That would tie the current era’s defining players on five Ballons d’Or apiece.
Neymar replaced Antoine Griezmann in this year’s top three, with the Brazilian having swapped Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain in a world-record €222million transfer in August.
Madrid dominated the awards ceremony, with boss Zinedine Zidane named Best FIFA Men’s Coach and Sergio Ramos, Marcelo, Sergio Ramos and Toni Kroos joining Ronaldo in the FIFA FIFPro XI of 2017.
Juventus veteran Gianluigi Buffon was named as Best FIFA Goalkeeper and also lined up in the dream team, while Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud claimed the Puskas Award for the best goal of the year – his remarkable overhead backheel volley against Crystal Palace in January.
Netherlands’ triumphant Euro 2017 campaign saw them dominate the women’s awards, with Sarina Wiegman named Best FIFA Women’s Coach and Lieke Martens scooping the player’s prize.