Clean sweep: Ronaldo takes home Best FIFA Men's Player award

Photo of Clean sweep: Ronaldo takes home Best FIFA Men's Player award

There really was no other choice.

Cristiano Ronaldo captured the inaugural Best FIFA Men's Player award Monday, capping a trophy-laden 2016 in which he also won the Ballon d'Or.

It is his fourth FIFA award, only trailing eternal rival Lionel Messi's five.

"Wow, wow, wow. It is not the first time but it is the first time for this award. I want to thank my teammates and the whole team of Madrid. I'd like to think my family, my brothers, my mom, my whole staff," he said.

"I tell you, 2016 was the best of my career. I had a lot of doubts, but the trophies I think show that I lived up to that and achieved what I could in the competitions. It was a year that was magnificent on a

The Real Madrid superstar earned more votes than finalists Messi and Antoine Griezmann, with national team captains and coaches, as well as members of the press and public, submitting ballots to decide the recipient.

FIFA ended its six-year association with magazine France Football last year, and in doing so surrendered the right to award the Ballon d'Or. Forced to restructure its ceremony, world football's governing body created a separate honour for the game's best male and female player.

And Ronaldo had a strong claim to the title. He won every continental prize in 2016, scoring the winning penalty for Los Blancos in May's Champions League final before captaining Portugal to its first-ever European Championship.

The photogenic Portuguese struck 55 goals across 2016 - the sixth consecutive year in which he surpassed the half-century mark - and scored a hat-trick in the Club World Cup final in December to secure Madrid's second world title in three years.

Despite missing most of the Euro 2016 final through injury, Ronaldo also joined Michel Platini as the tournament's joint-top scorer with nine goals.

More to come.

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