Cristiano Ronaldo crowned FIFA best men's player
ZURICH, Switzerland – Cristiano Ronaldo was named FIFA's best men's footballer of 2016 on Monday, January 9 (Tuesday in Manila), the latest prize after a glittering year for the Portugal and Real Madrid star.
Ronaldo bested France's Antoine Greizmann and long-time Barcelona rival Lionel Messi of Argentina for the honor.
Ronaldo had already won the Ballon d'Or after his third Champions League title, thanks in major part to his 16 goals in 12 games, as well as triumphing with Portugal at Euro 2016 – the country's first major prize.
"2016 was the best year of my career," Ronaldo said after being handed the prize from FIFA President Gianni Infantino.
"It was a year that was magnificent at a personal level and at a sports level," he added on the stage in Zurich.
The honor makes Ronaldo the first man to win the FIFA "Best" men's player distinction.
World football's governing body has launched the new award series after ending its 6-year collaboration with France Football magazine for the Ballon d'Or.
Ranieri is FIFA best men's coach
Meanwhile, Claudio Ranieri was named FIFA's best men's coach after leading Leicester City to a fairytale Premier League title triumph.
The Italian beat out France's Zinedine Zidane, who steered Real Madrid to Champions League glory in his first year as manager and Fernando Santos, the mastermind behind Portugal's Euro 2016 championship success.
Ranieri, 65, said the honor was "incredible" after receiving the prize from Argentine football legend Diego Maradona.
Under Ranieri's leadership, Leicester pulled off one of the greatest shocks in English football history by defying title odds of 5,000-1 to lift the Premier League trophy.
Having miraculously avoided relegation the previous season, the Foxes rode that wave of momentum all the way to a title.
Asked about his extraordinary season upon entering the award venue in Zurich, Ranieri said: "The little team won the title. It's amazing and I am very happy."
Chapecoense opponents win FIFA fair play award
Atletico Nacional, on the other hand, collected the Fair Play prize after the Colombian side requested Chapecoense receive the Copa Sudamericana title following a plane crash that decimated the Brazilian club.
Chapecoense were flying to Medellin ahead of the first leg of the final when their plane crashed in the Colombian mountains on November 28, killing all but 6 of the 77 people on board.
Nineteen players and 24 other club members perished as the accident tragically cut short their dream of playing in Chapecoense's first major final.
Atletico subsequently asked for their grieving opponents to be awarded the title, with South American football's governing body granting the request a week later.
Fans of both sides paid tribute to the victims as thousands, dressed in white and holding candles, piled into Atletico's stadium for the originally planned kick-off to grieve together and mourn those lost.
"It's still a difficult time, it was a big final and the tragedy struck our opponents, it's an indescribable moment, very hard to manage," said Atletico president Juan Carlos de la Cuesta upon receiving the award from former Barcelona and Spain defender Carles Puyol in Zurich.
"We've tried to manage this situation in the most dignified way possible." – Rappler.com