Sun | Nov 19, 2017

Ronaldo wins fifth FIFA Best Player Award

Published:Tuesday | October 24, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Football legends Diego Maradona (second right), Ronaldo, (right), FIFA president Gianni Infantino (left), present the Best FIFA Men's player award to Cristiano Ronaldo during The Best FIFA 2017 Awards at the Palladium Theatre in London, Monday yesterday.

LONDON (AP):

Cristiano Ronaldo has caught up with Lionel Messi to become a five-time winner of FIFA's Best Player Award.

The Real Madrid forward was crowned Player of the Year yesterday at the FIFA Best ceremony at the London Palladium theatre attended by runner-up Messi and third-placed Neymar Jr.

A second successive honour for Ronaldo was expected after a season in which the Portuguese player eclipsed his award counterparts in the trophy stakes.

As well as LaLiga and Spanish Super Cup successes, Ronaldo scored twice in the Champions League final against Juventus to win European football's elite competition for the third time in four seasons.

Ronaldo's coach at Madrid, Zinedine Zidane, was crowned coach of the year.

FIFA has shifted its award ceremony from its usual January slot to October so players are judged across a season based on the typical European schedule rather than the calendar year.

The women's award honoured the Netherlands' success at the European Championship in August. Lieke Martens, who scored in the final win over Denmark, won the player's award and Sarina Wiegman collected the coaching accolade.

The Puskas Award for best goal went to Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud for a scorpion-style kick. The Puskas Award-winning goal, from an overhead back-heeled strike, came on New Year's Day in Arsenal's 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace in the English Premier League.