Real Madrid and Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo has won the Best FIFA Men’s Player Award for 2017, having won the inaugural trophy for 2016 earlier this year.
FIFA hosted their first-ever award ceremony of the sort back in January, awarding soccer players based on their performances for the previous year, but moved the event to October in order to judge players across a season rather than a calendar year.
Ronaldo, who won the Champions League with Madrid and then Euro 16 with Portugal last year, beat rival Lionel Messi to the top prize in January. Nominated alongside Dani Alves, Neymar, and Messi this time around, the Portuguese attacker managed to retain his crown, having won La Liga with Los Blancos and successfully defended the Champions League trophy.
Soccer’s governing body held the event in London on Monday, also extending a gracious gesture to fans, who were actually allowed to attend the ceremony to catch a glimpse of their favorite stars and idols, including the likes of Diego Maradona, Ronaldo Nazario, and Ruud Gullit.
Brazil legend Pele, however, was not in attendance, as he was celebrating his birthday. But perhaps the fact that British movie star Idris Elba was the host sort of made up.
Ronaldo also made it into FIFA’s Team of The Year (FIFA FIFPro World 11), joining Gianluigi Buffon, Alves, Sergio Ramos, Leonardo Bonucci, Marcelo, Luka Modric, Toni Kroos, Andres Iniesta, Messi, and Neymar as members of the best-assembled team in world soccer.
Meanwhile, the Best FIFA Women’s Award for 2017 went to Lieke Martens, a Dutch star who plays for FC Barcelona. Martens fired her country to the UEFA Women’s Championship earlier this year, scoring three goals in the final en route to winning the Golden Ball in the tournament.
This achievement means she has unseated USA great Carli Lloyd, who won the first award of its kind in January.
There were other awards handed out on the night, with Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane being named the Best Men’s Coach and Netherlands manager Sarina Wiegman snagging the silverware for the Best Women’s Coach.
The award for Goal of the Season went to Arsenal and France forward Olivier Giroud for his famous “scorpion kick” scored last season. And the Fair Play award was claimed by Francis Kone, an Ivorian striker who plays for Zbrojovka Brno and has heroically saved four opponents lives by administering first aid on the pitch during matches.
Italy and Juventus stopper Buffon took home the prize for Goalkeeper of the Year after helping the Italian giants win Serie A and the Coppa Italia at the end of last season.
FIFA also gave something back to the fans, presenting supporters of Scottish side Celtic FC with the FIFA Fan Award in what was a brilliant touch.
[Featured Image by Michael Steele/Getty Images]