ZURICH (FIFA) - Football’s annual celebration of its top performers entered a new era this Monday evening in Zurich, with the inaugural edition of The Best FIFA Football Awards™. The winners of the prestigious individual awards as the best of the last 12 months are:
* The Best FIFA Men’s Player 2016: Cristiano Ronaldo
* The Best FIFA Women’s Player 2016: Carli Lloyd
* The Best FIFA Men’s Coach 2016: Claudio Ranieri
* The Best FIFA Women’s Coach 2016: Silvia Neid
Focus on the fans
Football fans are at the heart of FIFA’s new award show. Not only did they take part in choosing the winners of the individual awards for the first time ever, they also had recognition of their own. Borussia Dortmund and Liverpool supporters were chosen by other football fans from around the world and received the inaugural FIFA Fan Award for their unified singing of 'You’ll Never Walk Alone' in memory of those involved in the Hillsborough disaster.
Public voting on FIFA.com also decided the most beautiful goal of the season, with Mohd Faiz Subri taking the FIFA Puskلs Award 2016 trophy back home to Malaysia.
The team of the year
The votes from over 45,000 players around the world decided the FIFA FIFPro World11, the football players’ own selection of the dream team of 2016. Here is the line-up:
Goalkeeper: Manuel Neuer
Defenders: Dani Alves, Gerard Pique, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo
Midfielders: Luka Modric, Toni Kroos, Andres Iniesta
Forwards: Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Cristiano Ronaldo
Atlético Nacional were chosen by a panel of football experts as the deserving recipients of the FIFA Fair Play Award 2016. The Colombian club displayed humanity and compassion in face of the tragic plane crash that befell Chapecoense – the Brazilian club they were to face in the final of the Copa Sudamericana, and to whom, they insisted that the cup be given.
The evening also featured homage to Alessandro Rosa Vieira, known more popularly as the "king of futsal”, Falcمo. Following his retirement from the national team after the FIFA Futsal World Cup Colombia 2016, the Brazilian legend was lauded with the FIFA Award for an Outstanding Career.
The awards show was held at Zurich’s TPC studios and presented by Eva Longoria and Marco Schreyl. It featured performances by ‘vocal play’ pioneers Naturally 7 and English singer-songwriter Julian Perretta.
Meanwhile the thoughts of the winner of The Best FIFA Men's Player 2016, Cristiano Ronaldo, and moments after The Best FIFA Football Awards ceremony were as followed:
"I have said it a few times: this has probably been the best year of my career. Having won the [UEFA EURO 2016] trophy with the national team obviously plays a big part in it - since it was a first for Portugal and this makes 2016 a very special year. But there is also Real Madrid winning the Champions League and then the Club World Cup to finish the year in the best possible manner. It was a spectacular year, a truly special one. I have no doubt that it has been my best since I have started to play football.
"I have no doubt that I am already a part of football’s history. This has always been my major goal, since I started playing: not only to become a player, but to be a star and constantly strive to be the best. And I did it: the trophies speak for themselves - both the titles, the individual awards, the records… It is a reason of great pride and it motivates me to keep on working the same way I have been doing so far.
"It is the first time that FIFA organizes this award and this makes it even more special. It is an enormous privilege for me.”
** Ronaldo: It's been the best year of my career