The Portuguese star also won the award in 2008, 2013 and 2014 and has been placed either first or second in each of the last six editions. He converted the winning spot-kick in May as Real Madrid beat Atletico Madrid on penalties to secure an 11th European Cup and second Champions League title in three years.
But it’s Real Madrid’s arch rivals Barcelona who can boast more members in FFT’s top five for 2016, with Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar making up three of this year’s elite quintet. Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann ensures that it’s a clean sweep for La Liga; the Frenchman firing the Rojiblancos to the Champions League final with seven goals and ending Euro 2016 as the Golden Boot winner.
Real Madrid are next with 11, while Premier League clubs aren’t hogging the game’s leading lights like they once were. Manchester City and Chelsea saw eight of their squad selected in 2015 and 2014, but in 2016 no more than five players feature from any one English club. Arsenal, Chelsea and Spurs each have four.
England equal last year’s tally of four lions despite their humiliation against Iceland, as Jamie Vardy and Dele Alli displace Joe Hart and Wayne Rooney – making it the first time in Top 100 history that Rooney has missed the cut.