Ronaldo wins FIFA player award, targets ‘lucky’ seven

Joe Williams

Cristiano Ronaldo won his fifth FIFA award for best men’s player and then said he wants seven to match his lucky number.

Ronaldo retained the prize after scoring 44 goals in 48 appearances in 2017, 33 for Real Madrid and 11 for Portugal.

The forward collected his trophy at a ceremony held at the London Palladium on Monday, with fellow nominees Lionel Messi and Neymar both in the crowd.

Messi voted for his Barcelona team-mate Luis Suarez in first place while Ronaldo also went for a team-mate in Madrid midfielder Luka Modric.

Neither Ronaldo nor Messi included each other in their top three nominations.

Asked how many times he could win the accolade, Ronaldo said: “I want seven. Five is good but seven is my lucky number so seven would be great.”

Lieke Martens claimed the women’s player award after inspiring Holland to victory on home soil at Euro 2017.

The Barcelona forward came out in front of fellow nominees Carli Lloyd, who won last time, and Deyna Castellanos.

The event was attended by a host of stars past and present, including Diego Maradona, former Brazil striker Ronaldo, Frank Lampard, Sergio Ramos and Harry Kane, with winners decided by a jury of international captains and coaches, media representatives and fans.

England manager Gareth Southgate voted for Ronaldo in first, Modric second and Toni Kroos third.

Ronaldo’s success comes after another stellar year in which he won both the Champions League and LaLiga with Real Madrid.

It means he has now picked up the latest two FIFA men’s player prizes as well as three of the last four Ballon d’Or awards.

“Thank you a lot to the guys for voting for me,” Ronaldo said after accepting his prize.

“(I want) to give a mention to Leo and Neymar to be here, Real Madrid supporters, my team-mates, my coach, my president – they support me all the year so I have to say thank you to them.”

FIFA is running its own awards for the second consecutive time after ending its partnership with France Football’s Ballon d’Or in 2016.