Cristiano Ronaldo has joined Lionel Messi as a five-time winner of FIFA’s best player award.
The Real Madrid forward was crowned player of the year on Monday at the FIFA Best ceremony at the London Palladium theater attended by runner-ups Messi and third-placed Neymar.
A second, successive honour for the 32-year-old Ronaldo was expected after a season in which the Portuguese eclipsed his award counterparts in the medal stakes.
As well as Spanish league and Spanish Super Cup success, Ronaldo scored twice in the Champions League final against Juventus to win European soccer’s elite competition for the third time in four seasons.
FIFA has shifted its award ceremony from its usual January slot to October so players are judged across a season — based on the typical European schedule — rather than the calendar year.
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS