Belfast Telegraph

World's No.1 Ronaldo gets Michael O'Neill's vote

By Paul Ferguson

Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill helped crown Cristiano Ronaldo as the the world's leading player at the inaugural Best FIFA Football Awards in Zurich last night.

Ronaldo, who led Portugal to the Euro 2016 title as well as winning the Champions League with Real Madrid, beat fellow shortlisted candidates Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann to claim the prize, which is voted for by a combination of national team captains and managers, journalists and fans.

O'Neill selected 31 year-old Ronaldo as his No.1 while Northern Ireland captain Steven Davis opted for Barcelona superstar Messi. Republic of Ireland chief Martin O'Neill voted for Welsh ace Gareth Bale.

Ronaldo said: "I tell you 2016 was the best year of my career. I had a lot of doubts but this trophy I think shows I lived up to that."

Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri won the Coach of the Year title in recognition for leading the Foxes to their Premier League triumph.

Ranieri beat Portugal coach Fernando Santos and Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane.

Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund shared the fan award for their joint rendition of "You'll Never Walk Alone" during their Europa League clash at Anfield in April last year.

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