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Ronaldo beats Messi to the 2016 FIFA Men's Player Award

La Liga By: Collins Udeme | 09/01/2017

Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal and Real Madrid accepts The Best FIFA Men's Player Award from FIFA President Gianni Infantino during The Best FIFA Football Awards at TPC Studio on January 9, 2017 in Zurich, Switzerland. Photo credit:

Real Madrid and Portugal star Cristiano has beaten Barcelona's Lionel Messi and Atletico Madrid's Antoine Griezmann to the Best FIFA Men's Player Award during Monday’s inaugural edition of The Best Fifa Awards ceremony in Zurich.

The trio remained in the running for the coveted award, having been narrowed down from an initial shortlist of 23, selected by football experts from the FIFA Football Committee, by a voting process split evenly between national coaches, national captains, select members of the media and fans. The winner will be revealed at the ceremony in Zurich on 9 January.

Ronaldo also won the Ballon d'Or in December, with both honours recognition for success in the Champions League with Real and Euro 2016 with Portugal.

As well as scoring the decisive penalty in the shootout to win the Champions League, rescuing Real with a hat-trick in the final of the Club World Cup, captaining Portugal to Euro 2016 glory and being recognised with a fourth Ballon d'Or, Ronaldo now has something Messi does not - the honour of being named the inaugral best Fifa men's player.

The former Manchester United forward had been the favourite for the award, following a year in which he continued to deliver remarkable statistics, including 42 goals and 14 assists in 44 games.

The Portuguese holds the third best minutes-per-goal rate record (83.68) of anyone scoring a minimum of 10 goals across Europe's top five leagues during 2016, behind Luis Suarez (82.57) and Radamel Falcao (59.6)

He was also directly involved in 39 La Liga goals in 30 games - 31 scored and nine assists.

Finishing top scorer in the Champions League in 2015-16 with 16 goals, seven more than second-placed Robert Lewandowski.

Carli Lloyd of the United States was named the world's best female player.

Leicester's Claudio Ranieri was named best men's coach, ex-Germany boss Silvia Neid won the female coach award, while Penang's Mohd Faiz Subri received the Puskas award for the best goal of 2016.