24 Oct Ronaldo player of the year
Cristiano Ronaldo won his fifth FIFA men’s player of the year award and then said he wants seven to match his lucky number.
Ronaldo retained the prize after scoring 44 goals in 48 appearances in 2017, including 33 for Real Madrid and 11 for Portugal.
The forward collected his award at a ceremony held at the London Palladium on Monday, with fellow nominees Lionel Messi and Neymar both in the crowd.
Asked how many times he could win the accolade, Ronaldo said: “I want seven. Five is good but seven is my lucky number so seven would be great.”
Lieke Martens claimed the women’s player award after inspiring Holland to victory on home soil at Euro 2017.
The Barcelona forward came out in front of fellow nominees Carli Lloyd, who won last time, and Deyna Castellanos.
The event was attended by a host of stars past and present, including Diego Maradona, former Brazil striker Ronaldo, Frank Lampard, Sergio Ramos and Harry Kane, with winners decided by a jury of club and international coaches, media representatives and fans.
Ronaldo’s triumph stole the show, however, the 32-year-old receiving recognition for another stellar year in which he won both the Champions League and LaLiga with Real Madrid.
It means he has now picked up the latest two FIFA men’s player prizes as well as three of the last four Ballon d’Or awards.
“Thank you a lot to the guys for voting for me,” Ronaldo said after accepting his trophy.
“(I want) To give a mention to Leo and Neymar to be here, Real Madrid supporters, my team-mates, my coach, my president – they support me all the year so I have to say thank you to them.”
FIFA is running its own awards for the second consecutive time after ending its partnership with France Football’s Ballon d’Or in 2016.
Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud won the FIFA Puskas Award for best goal after his stunning ‘scorpion-kick’ against Crystal Palace in January.
Giroud said: “I like acrobatic gestures but I was surprised when I saw it in the back of the net. Everything was perfect and I don’t think I could do it again.”
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte was shortlisted for men’s coach of the year but the Italian, who lifted the Premier League title in his first season in England, lost out to Zinedine Zidane.
Zidane became the first coach to win back-to-back Champions League titles as Real beat Juventus in the final in May. He also led Los Blancos to their first league title in five years.
The Italian club boasted their own winner in London, however, as their goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon won the best goalkeeper prize.
The 39-year-old was also named in the FifPro World XI, which did not include a single English player nor even a player from the Premier League.
In defence, Paris St Germain’s Dani Alves and AC Milan’s Leonardo Bonucci were picked, along with Real pair Sergio Ramos and Marcelo.
Madrid’s Luka Modric and Toni Kroos were included in midfield, together with Barcelona playmaker Andres Iniesta.
The three nominees for the Men’s Player Award – Ronaldo, Messi of Barcelona and Neymar of PSG – took the three attacking spots.
Celtic supporters won the Fan Award, recognising their celebrations in May for the 50th anniversary of the club winning the European Cup.
Fans at Celtic Park held up coloured cards that spelled out ‘Lisbon Lions’ in tribute to Celtic’s 1967 triumph over Inter Milan in the Portuguese capital.
The women’s coach category was won by Holland boss Sarina Wiegman, who led the Dutch national team to victory at Euro 2017, while the Fair Play Award went to Francis Kone.
Kone saved the life of goalkeeper Martin Berkovec, who almost suffocated by swallowing his tongue during a Czech league match in February.