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Friday 17 November 2017

Ronaldo reclaims FIFA's top player crown

Cristiano Ronaldo. Pic: PA
Cristiano Ronaldo. Pic: PA

Cristiano Ronaldo has won the FIFA men's player of the year award.

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. "Thank you a lot to the guys for voting for me," Ronaldo said.

"(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. "We are in England for the first time and I win consecutive awards. This is a great moment for me."

Lieke Martens won 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 collected the award last year, and Deyna Castellanos.

Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud won the FIFA Puskas Award for goal of the year.

Giroud's stunning 'scorpion-kick' scored against Crystal Palace in January beat off competition from Venezuela's Deyna Castellanos and South African goalkeeper Oscarine Masuluke.

Effort

The Frenchman's effort, a flicked volley with his left foot that flew in off the crossbar, was announced as the winner at a ceremony held at the London Palladium on Monday.

Celtic supporters won the Fan Award, recognising their celebrations in May for the 50th anniversary of the club winning the European Cup.

In a ceremony attended by the likes of Alex Ferguson and Kenny Dalglish, fans 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 the Euro 2017 title on home soil, 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.

There was not one English player named in the FifPro World XI, nor even one from the Premier League.

Buffon was the goalkeeper selected, while Paris St Germain's Dani Alves and AC Milan's Leonardo Bonucci were picked in defence, along with Madrid 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 - Cristiano Ronaldo of Madrid, Lionel Messi of Barcelona and Neymar of PSG - took the three attacking spots.

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