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Ronaldo retains FIFA Best Player award

Cristiano Ronaldo’s stunning last season saw him win the 2017 Best FIFA Men’s Player of the Year trophy as Real Madrid dominated a star-studded awards ceremony in London on Monday.

The Portuguese ace, who has scored 44 goals in just 48 games for club and country so far this calendar year, played a major role in Real winning both La Liga and the Champions League.

He scored twice in a 4-1 win over Juventus in the continental final at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium on June 3.

Real boss Zinedine Zidane took the corresponding manager of the year award, with the Spanish giants providing five players in the FIFA team of the year.

Ronaldo won the inaugural Best FIFA Men’s Player of the Year award last year following the end of a six-year merger between the FIFA honour and the Ballon d’ Or.

This year he saw off competition from longstanding Barcelona rival Lionel Messi and PSG’s Neymar, with former Manchester United favourite Ronaldo receiving his trophy from Argentina great Diego Maradona and Brazil’s Ronaldo in a star-studded ceremony at the London Palladium theatre.

“Thanks a lot for voting for me,” said the Portuguese superstar.

“I mention Leo and Neymar, great to be here. Real Madrid supporters, my team-mates, my coach, they all support me all year.”

Zidane won out ahead of Chelsea’s Antonio Conte and Juventus’s Massimiliano Allegri to be crowned men’s coach of the year after becoming the first man to oversee a successful defence of the European Cup in the Champions League era.

Real’s superb campaign was recognised in a FIFA XI that featured Ronaldo and club-mates Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, Marcelo and Sergio Ramos.

The team was completed by goalkeeper of the year Gianluigi Buffon, Leonardo Bonucci, Dani Alves, Andres Iniesta, Messi and Neymar.

Veteran Juventus and Italy shot-stopper Buffon topped a three-strong shortlist for the goalkeeper award ahead of Real’s Keylor Navas and Bayern Munich’s Manuel Neuer.

Monday also saw the Puskas Award for the best goal of 2017 go to Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud.

The France striker received the award named in honour of Hungary great Ferenc Puskas for a spectacular ‘scorpion-kick’ against Crystal Palace in January.

The Frenchman’s flicked volley with his left foot that went in off the crossbar won ahead of goals from Venezuela’s Deyna Castellanos, 18, and South African goalkeeper Oscarine Masuluke.

Meanwhile tournament hosts the Netherlands’ achievement in winning their first major female football title, the 2017 Women’s European Championship, was recognised with Women’s Coach of the Year and Player of the Year awards for Sarina Wiegman and Lieke Martens respectively.

Wiegman and Martens were unable to receive their awards in London as the Netherlands are playing Norway on Tuesday.