Cristiano Ronaldo retained his FIFA men’s player of the year crown on Monday night, beating Lionel Messi and Neymar to earn the accolade of the world’s best footballer.
The Real Madrid star picked up the award ahead of his rivals from Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain on the back of triumphs in La Liga and the Champions League last season.
Ronaldo has scored 44 goals for club and country so far in 2017 and scored twice in the Champions League final in June as Real retained the trophy and became European champions for a record-extending 12th time.
“Thank you a lot guys for voting for me,’ Ronaldo said after picking up the award. ‘(I would like) to give a mention to Leo (Messi) and Neymar for being here. Real Madrid supporters, my team-mates, coach, president, all support all through the year so I have to say thank you to them.”
The Real Madrid star was presented the award by Diego Maradona and his Brazilian namesake at Monday’s ceremony, which took place at the London Palladium.
It was the second since the FIFA award once again split from the Ballon d’Or prize.
Messi has hit 50 goals for Barca and Argentina while Neymar, who became the world’s most expensive player when he left Barcelona for PSG in £198million in the summer, has 25 goals to his name for club and country.
But with his team silverware outshining those of his two rivals, Ronaldo was the heavy favourite to win the award for a second year running.