Calling 2016 a successful year for Cristiano Ronaldo would be an underestimation of the heights that the Portuguese captain has scaled over the past 12 months, both in a team and individually. He capped things off by grabbing The Best FIFA Men’s Player 2016 trophy on Monday. Here’s a look at the top five moments from his year gone by.
Ballon d’Or number four
Arguably the biggest talking point of 2016, the Real Madrid star’s fourth Ballon d’Or trophy came at the expense of arc enemy Lionel Messi in December last year. CR7 finished with a runaway 745 votes ahead of the Barca man’s 316, first time since the award split with FIFA. He now stands one behind Leo’s tally of five.
Euro Cup, finally
Memories of a teary-eyed young Cristiano from the 2004 UEFA Euro Cup defeat to Greece were also washed away in 2016 as the attacker collected one of the very few pieces of silverware missing in his rather decorated trophy cabinet. It came at a time when he was not in the best of form and had to be substituted injured early on in the final. But hey, that’s the nature of sport!
When the former Manchester United forward first arrived in the Spanish capital, Madrid fans had pinned their hopes on him to bag the club’s 10th UEFA Champions League trophy (La Decima). And after successfully doing so in 2014, Ronaldo went one better in 2016 to help Real claim their 11th. With 16 goals, he also ended up as the tournament’s highest goal-scorer for a fourth consecutive season.
The undisputed king of Europe
Other European awards also kept coming thick and fast for the former Sporting Lisbon player last year as he was recognised as the 2015-16 season’s UEFA Best Player in Europe for his exploits with both club and country. He also finished ahead of the likes of current World No. 1 tennis player Andy Murray to capture the Best European Sportsman award, organised by the European press.
Club World Cup? Sure!
The FIFA Club World Cup might not be as fiercely fought a competition as some of the other European leagues, but Ronaldo ensured he left footprints behind on this one too. The Santiago Bernabéu man netted a hat-trick in the final of the competition to guide his team to another title; ending up as the best player of the 2016 edition of the tournament and also the joint-highest top-scorer in its history.
Image source: Pinterest and Real Madrid website