# Cristiano Ronaldo wins FIFA Best Player award and described it as ‘amazing’

# Claudio Ranieri is FIFA Best Coach and says its ‘crazy’


By Rizal Abdullah

There he stood on stage fumbling with his handphone to find his text to say a few words after winning the FIFA Puskas Award (Best Goal) and Malaysia’s Faiz Subri was a runaway winner with nearly 60 per cent going to him.

Kedah-born Faiz, who plays for Penang in the M-League, became the first Asian player to win the award, garnering 59.46 % of the votes – ahead of Brazil’s Johnath Marlone Azevedo da Silva (22.86%) and Daniuska Rodriguez (10%), a woman player from Venezuela. 

Faiz rose to fame when scored in Penang’s 4-1 win over Pahang in a Super League match that was played at the City Stadium on Feb 16 2016 with a 35 metres freekick described as “physics-defying” as the ball curled into the right hand corner past Pahang goalkeeper Nasril Nourdin.

The goal puts Faiz, who hails from Kampung Pida 6, Ayer Hitam. Kedah, in the same class as previous winners Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal (2009), Hamit Altintop of Turkey (2010), Brazil’s Neymar (2011), Slovakia’s Miroslav Stoch (2012), Sweden’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic (2013), James Rodriguez of Colombia (2014) and Brazil’s Wendell Lira who won last year.

Instead of wearing the much talked about Baju Melayu, the 29-year-old Faiz wore a tuxedo for the occasion. The trophy was presented by Brazilian football legend Ronaldo – one of the many big names of international football who graced the event in Zurich.

Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo, the Real Madrid star, walked away with the rebranded Men’s Best Player of 2016 award – beating his Barcelona FC rival Lional Messi from Argentina.

The 31-year-old Ronaldo described 2016 as the “best year of my career” after taking Real Madrid to the Champions League and the Club World Cup and his country to the Euro 2016.

“It is simply amazing, amazing, amazing,” said the Portuguese star who also won the award in 2008, 2013 and 2014.

Messi, who was not in Zurich due to club commitments, won the title from 2009-2012 and also in 2015.

Italian Claudio Ranieri won the Coach of the Best FIFA Men’s Coach for 2016 for leading Leicester City to the English Premier League title last year.

American Carli Lloyd won the Women’s Player of the Year award for the second time in a row while Colombian club Atletico Nacional were given the FIFA Fair Play award. 

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