Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo and coach Zinedine Zidane were named FIFA men’s and men’s coach of the year respectively at the governing body’s annual ‘The Best’ football awards.
Ronaldo will retain the title he won in 2016 — again finishing ahead of Lionel Messi in a vote between national team players, coaches, media and fans — earning his fifth award as FIFA’s top male footballer.
The Portuguese captain took 43.16% of the total vote, earned in a fruitful year in which he won the Champions League and La Liga with Real and extending his form in longevity. He scored two goals against Juventus in the Champions League final to help Real achieve continental supremacy for the 12th time, along with a hat-trick against Atlético Madrid in the semi-finals.
When asked how long he could keep up this level of form, Ronaldo said: “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. I don’t know what’s going to happen in the next year. I just try to focus on the moment.”
The was also little doubt that Real coach Zinedine Zidane would claim the award for best men’s coach after concluding last season as the champions of Spain for the first time since 2012 and champions of Europe for the second successive season.
Zidane won the award ahead of Chelsea manager Antonio Conte, who won the Premier League title in his first season, and Juventus’s Massimiliano Allegri, who led his team to a league and cup double in Serie A and Coppa Italia.
Meanwhile, Arsenal forward Olivier Giroud was awarded the Puskas for best goal that came in the Premier League match against Palace on New Year’s Day, with the France forward converting a superb ‘scorpion’ kick volley in which he flicked an Alexis Sanchez cross from behind him over his shoulder and into the goal with his left heel.
Also, in addition to awarding the best players and best coaches of different categories the FIFA ceremony also included the Fair Play Award, which recognised the gesture by Togolese player Francis Kone, who performed life-saving first aid on Bohemians 1905 goalkeeper Martin Berkovec during a Czech League game in February.