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Ronaldo caps off dream 2016 with top award

dpa logodpa 9/01/2017 Florian Luetticke and Arne Richter

Cristiano Ronaldo has crowned a dazzling 2016 by winning his fourth FIFA's best male player award.

Real Madrid and Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo has crowned a dazzling 2016 by winning his fourth FIFA's best male player award at a Zurich gala.

Ronaldo beat traditional rival Lionel Messi into second and condemned Antoine Griezmann to a distant third after lifting the Champions League with his club and Euro 2016 with his country.

His personal collection was recently boosted by a fourth Ballon d'Or, which is once more ran by France Football magazine separately from the FIFA award.

The latest honour was decided in a poll including votes from international captains and coaches, an online ballot of fans and votes from journalists.

Leicester City boss Claudio Ranieri was named men's coach of 2016 for guiding the underdogs to a surprise Premier League championship last May and, despite domestic struggles this season, the knock-out stages of the Champions League.

Ronaldo's Champions League winning coach Zinedine Zidane and his boss at Portugal, Fernando Santos, missed out from the final shortlist.

"I'd like to thank my team, national team, Real Madrid, my trainer, my family that came here, my son, my brothers," Ronaldo said, looking back on a season which saw him also lift the Club World Cup and the individual best player award from UEFA.

"2016 was the best year of my career, the trophy shows that people aren't blind and watch the games. With everything I won with my national team and club, with great individual performance, I can't forget this incredible year," he said.

But Ronaldo's year was also not without disappointment and controversy - he made an early exit with injury in the Euro 2016 final win over hosts France and the media accused him of using tax avoidance techniques.

Messi, who has won five FIFA best player awards and finished second to Ronaldo on each of his victories, helped Barcelona to another Spanish championship but once more lost a major final with Argentina as they fell in the Copa America Centenario to Chile.

Ronaldo took 34.54 per cent of the vote to Messi's 26.42 per cent with Griezmann - who lost in the finals of both the Champions League and Euro 2016 - back on 7.53 per cent.

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