Ronaldo is in a class of his own

Madrid star picks up 5th Fifa world's best award, ties record held by arch-rival Messi

LONDON • Cristiano Ronaldo has set his sights on a "lucky seventh" piece of Fifa silverware after collecting his fifth Men's Player of the Year award on Monday.

Ronaldo's Real Madrid side, who won both LaLiga and the Champions League last season, dominated the 2017 Best Fifa football awards at a star-studded ceremony in London on Monday night.

The Portuguese retained the title he won last year - again finishing ahead of Lionel Messi in a vote between national team players, coaches, media and fans - meaning that he has now been named Fifa's top male footballer five times.

He took 43.16 per cent of the total vote (Barcelona's Messi had 19.25 per cent), continuing to put top-class opponents to the sword with astounding regularity.

But, typical of a footballer who has enjoyed huge success at both Manchester United and Real, he was not satisfied.

"I want seven. Five is good but seven is my lucky number so seven would be great," Ronaldo, who has scored 44 goals in just 48 games for club and country so far this calendar year, said.

Asked how long he could keep up this level of form, Ronaldo added: "I don't know, I just enjoy the moment, the moment is great. I feel happy, I'm 32 and have won best player in the world and I'm so glad."

He also acknowledged the competition provided by Messi and Neymar, who finished third in the men's rankings with 6.97 per cent, although the published voting results revealed that neither he nor Messi had deemed one another the best player of the past year.


  • BEST FIFA MEN'S PLAYER: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)

    BEST FIFA WOMEN'S PLAYER: Lieke Martens (Rosengard, Barcelona)

    BEST MEN'S COACH: Zinedine Zidane (Real Madrid)

    BEST WOMEN'S COACH: Sarina Wiegman (Netherlands)

    BEST GOALKEEPER: Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus)

    PUSKAS AWARD (BEST GOAL): Olivier Giroud (Arsenal)

    FIFA FAIR PLAY AWARD: Francis Kone (FC Zbrojovka)

    FIFA FAN AWARD: Celtic

    FIFA XI: Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Marcelo (Real Madrid), Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus, AC Milan) Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Dani Alves (Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), Luka Modric (Real Madrid), Toni Kroos (Real Madrid), Neymar (Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Lionel Messi (Barcelona)

Ronaldo won the inaugural Best Fifa Men's Player of the Year award last year following the end of a six-year merger between the Fifa World Player of the Year and France Football's Ballon D'Or.

He previously lifted the Fifa World Player of the Year award, the precursor award before the merger, in 2008.

Ronaldo won the Fifa Ballon D'Or, which is decided by votes from journalists, in 2013 and 2014.

"Thanks a lot for voting for me," said Ronaldo after receiving his trophy from Argentinian great Diego Maradona and former Brazil striker Ronaldo at the London Palladium theatre.

"Real Madrid supporters, my team-mates, my coach, they all support me all year.This is a great moment for me."

Real coach Zinedine Zidane took the corresponding manager of the year award, with the Spanish giants providing five players in the Fifpro Team of the Year. Both Messi and Ronaldo were named in the team.

Zidane was crowned Men's Coach of the Year ahead of Chelsea's Antonio Conte and Juventus' Massimiliano Allegri, after becoming the first man to oversee a successful defence of the European Cup in the Champions League era.

Juventus and Italy 'keeper Gianluigi Buffon topped a three-strong shortlist for the Goalkeeper Award ahead of Keylor Navas of Real and Bayern Munich's Manuel Neuer.

Monday also saw the Puskas Award for the best goal of 2017 go to Arsenal's Olivier Giroud.

The France striker received the award named in honour of Hungarian great Ferenc Puskas for a spectacular 'scorpion-kick' against Crystal Palace in January.

Meanwhile, the Netherlands' achievement in winning their first major female football title, the 2017 Women's European Championship, was recognised with the Women's Coach of the Year and Player of the Year awards for Sarina Wiegman and Lieke Martens respectively.

They won the tournament on home soil.

Supporters of Celtic won the Fan Award for the way they marked the 50th anniversary of their European Cup triumph.

The Fair Play award went to Francis Kone for saving the life of goalkeeper Martin Berkovec, who nearly suffocated as a result of swallowing his tongue during a Czech league match in February.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 25, 2017, with the headline 'Ronaldo is in a class of his own'. Print Edition | Subscribe