Cristiano Ronaldo has been named The Best FIFA Football Player after a sensational 2016 which saw him secure a second Champions League crown with Real Madrid and lead Portugal to a historic European Championship triumph.
The 31-year-old star once again grabbed blagging rights over rival Lionel Messi, having picked up the prestigious Ballon d’Or award last month ahead of the Barcelona forward.
Messi, who did not attend FIFA’s The Best ceremony in Zurich due to Barcelona commitments, and Atletico Madrid striker Antoine Griezmann were both beaten by the Portuguese forward.
The former Manchester United star was the overwhelming favourite after a stellar 12 months in which he won Euro 2016, the Champions League and the UEFA Super Cup.
Ronaldo ended the year with 55 goals in 57 games for club and country but it was his success in the two big tournaments of the year that ultimately saw him claim the prize ahead of his rivals.
He played a crucial role as Real beat city rivals Atletico Madrid in May to become European champions for a record-extending 11th time.
Then two months later, Portugal triumphed at Euro 2016 in France to claim a major trophy for the first time — despite losing their captain to injury early on in the final against France.
Speaking prior to winning his award at the glamorous bash in Zurich, Switzerland , Ronaldo said: ‘As I mentioned many times last year was a dream year.
‘Real Madrid won the Champions League, and Portugal the European Championship. I am so proud and happy, and I thank my team-mates for an amazing year.’
Ronaldo, meanwhile, brought a person of note with him to the event — his new girlfriend Georgina Rodriguez.
While Rodriguez and Ronaldo have been linked after being spotted together a number of times, it is the first occasion on which they have made a public appearance as a couple.
FIFA ended their six-year association with the Ballon d’Or in 2016, deciding to go it alone.
Prior to the union between the two organisations the Ballon d’Or was known as the European Footballer of the Year from 1991 whilst FIFA created their World Player of the Year prize in 1995.
The awards co-existed until they merged in 2010, only to split last year and leave the world’s best vying for two separate trophies after the decision was made by Gianni Infantino, FIFA president.