The Latest: Ronaldo wins FIFA player of year for 5th time
LONDON (AP) — The Latest on FIFA Best awards at the London Palladium Theater (all times local):
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 honor 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.
Lieke Martens has been crowned women’s player of the year at the FIFA Best ceremony after winning the European Championship with the Netherlands.
The 24-year-old winger was part of the Dutch team that beat Denmark in the final in August, scoring once.
She beat Carli Lloyd of the United States and Deyna Castellanos of Venezuela.
The team of the 2016-17 season voted by soccer players has been announced at the FIFA Best ceremony.
The goalkeeper is Gianluigi Buffon of Italy and Juventus.
In defense it’s Dani Alves (Brazil, Juventus/currently Paris Saint-Germain), Leonardo Bonucci (Italy, Juventus/currently AC Milan), Sergio Ramos (Spain, Real Madrid) and Marcelo (Brazil, Real Madrid).
The midfield features Real Madrid duo Luka Modric (Croatia) and Toni Kroos (Germany), and Andres Iniesta of Spain and Barcelona.
Up front, it’s Lionel Messi (Argentina, Barcelona), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal, Real Madrid) and Neymar (Brazil, Barcelona/currently Paris Saint-Germain).
Some 26,622 players from 71 countries participated in the vote organized by world player’s union FIFPro.
Sarina Wiegman has been named women’s coach of the year at the FIFA Best ceremony.
Wiegman led the Netherlands to its first major women’s title when it won the European Championship in August by beating Denmark.
Scottish champion Celtic has won the fan award at the FIFA Best ceremony hours after the club was fined by UEFA for a pitch invasion.
UEFA imposed a sanction of 10,000 euros ($11,740) on Celtic after a supporter ran onto the field in Glasgow and aimed a kick at Paris Saint-Germain striker Kylian Mbappe during a Champions League game last month.
It was the 12th fine Celtic has received from UEFA for bad behavior by supporters in six years.
The goalkeeper award at the FIFA Best ceremony has gone to Gianluigi Buffon of Juventus and Italy.
The 39-year-old Buffon won a sixth consecutive Serie A title last season. But he missed out on a first Champions League title when Juventus lost to Real Madrid in the final in June.
Buffon told the ceremony at the Palladium Theater in London: “It wasn’t enough to win in Europe. For this year I hope to play better for the national team and Juventus.”
Italy will take on Sweden in a playoff next month to make the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Zinedine Zidane has been crowned coach of the year at the FIFA Best ceremony after Real Madrid became the first team to defend its Champions League title.
Zidane said: “I would like to thank all the players who made this possible.”
Also in the running were Antonio Conte, who won the English Premier League in his first season at Chelsea, and Juventus successor Massimiliano Allegri, who has won three consecutive league and cup doubles in Italy.
The FIFA Best awards ceremony has opened with Olivier Giroud winning the goal award for his scorpion-style kick while playing for Arsenal.
The Puskas Award-winning goal from an overhead back-heeled strike came on New Year’s Day in Arsenal’s 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace in the English Premier League.
The FIFA ceremony is at the Palladium Theater in London.