Ronaldo joins Messi as five-time winner of FIFA player award

Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after winning The Best FIFA Men's Player Award with Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane. (REUTERS)
Updated 24 October 2017
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Ronaldo joins Messi as five-time winner of FIFA player award

LONDON: Cristiano Ronaldo has caught up with Lionel Messi to become 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-up Messi and third-placed Neymar.
A second successive honor for Ronaldo was expected after a season in which the Portuguese eclipsed his award counterparts in the trophy 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.
Ronaldo’s coach at Madrid, Zinedine Zidane, was crowned coach of the year.
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.
The women’s award honored the Netherlands’ success at the European Championship in August. Lieke Martens, who scored in the final win over Denmark, won the player’s award and Sarina Wiegman collected the coaching accolade.
The Puskas Award for best goal went to Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud for a scorpion-style kick. 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.


Juventus too good for Man Utd on Ronaldo’s return

Updated 24 October 2018
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Juventus too good for Man Utd on Ronaldo’s return

  • Paulo Dybala scored the winner on 17 minutes as the Italian champions opened up a five-point lead over United at the top of Group H
  • The hosts failed to threaten until Paul Pogba’s curling shot from outside the box hit the post 15 minutes from time

MANCHESTER: Cristiano Ronaldo emerged victorious again on his second return to Old Trafford, but this time did not get on the scoresheet as Juventus outclassed Manchester United to win 1-0 in the Champions League on Tuesday.
Instead Ronaldo played a supporting role by helping set up Paulo Dybala’s winner on 17 minutes as the Italian champions opened up a five-point lead over United at the top of Group H.
Jose Mourinho’s men were handed a break before kick-off as Valencia’s 1-1 draw away to Young Boys means United still hold a two-point lead over the Spaniards, but a fourth defeat of the season will see speculation over Mourinho’s future increase once more.
But for a series of excellent saves from David de Gea, the margin of defeat could have been far greater too as any momentum United gained from fightbacks against Newcastle and Chelsea in recent weeks in the Premier League faded away against one of the favorites to win the Champions League.
Ronaldo was given a hero’s welcome on his previous visit to Old Trafford with Real Madrid in 2013 after scoring 118 goals for United in six seasons between 2003 and 2009 to help the Red Devils win three Premier League titles and the first of his five Champions Leagues.
The Portuguese’s early days as Juventus player since making the move to Italy from Madrid this summer have been overshadowed by a rape allegation made against him in the United States.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner has strongly denied the allegation and been backed by his new club, who paid 112 million euros ($129 million) for the 33-year-old in July.
But the reception he received from the United faithful this time was far more muted with only a mild cheer raised when his name in the Juventus line-up was announced.
Ronaldo scored the winner in a contentious Champions League last-16 tie for Madrid five years ago, but this time played the role of provider for Dybala to be the match-winner.
His cross intended for Juan Cuadrado ricocheted kindly off Chris Smalling into the path of Dybala to sweep the ball past De Gea for his fourth goal in two Champions League games.
As Juventus dominated the rest of the first half, only De Gea stood in their way of killing the game off before the break.
The Spaniard flew to his right to save Joao Cancelo’s fiercely-struck shot then produced a fine double save to parry Ronaldo’s free-kick and swat away Blaise Matuidi’s follow-up effort.
Top scorer in this competition for the past six seasons, Ronaldo is still searching for his first Champions League goal for Juventus having been sent off after just 30 minutes of his European debut against Valencia and subsequently banned for a 3-0 victory over Young Boys.
He couldn’t have done much more with an effort that soared toward De Gea’s top corner seven minutes into the second half only to see the United ‘keeper produce a miraculous right-handed save.
Going behind brought out the best in Mourinho’s side against Newcastle and Chelsea to help ease the pressure on the manager.
But the hosts failed to threaten until Paul Pogba’s curling shot from outside the box hit the post 15 minutes from time.
Anthony Martial also tested Wojciech Szczesny late on but Juventus held out for a deserved victory.