In case you missed it, world football’s elite players are now competing for two major individual accolades following the split between FIFA and France Football.
The Ballon d’Or will continue with France Football and it remains the award that the world’s best players are all desperate to land their hands on.
FIFA, meanwhile, have introduced ‘The Best FIFA Men’s Player 2016 award’. This is the successor to the now-defunct FIFA World Player of the Year award.
Only journalists can vote for the new Ballon d’Or but international coaches and captains still get a vote for FIFA’s new award.
And Brazil boss Tite has already revealed how he has voted for the award, which will be presented at a glitzy ceremony in Zurich on January 9.
Tite names his top three players of 2016
Tite, who has worked wonders with the Brazilian national team since replacing Dunga in June, could find no room in his top three for Lionel Messi despite admitting the Barcelona superstar is the world’s best footballer.
“Messi’s the best in the world, but this year, Ronaldo has been the best,” the Brazil coach told the Estado de Sao Paulo newspaper, per FIFA’s official website. “For his triumphs, Cristiano’s year has been better.
“In second, Neymar, and in third, [Antoine] Griezmann. I left Messi out because he was injured a lot. Cristiano is direct, is fascinated with the goal. Messi is playful, creative.”
Ronaldo is the firm favourite
Ronaldo is the overwhelming favourite to win the Ballon d’Or - he’s 1/12 on with certain bookmakers - and he should complete the double by also securing FIFA’s Best Men’s Player of 2016 accolade.
The 31-year-old is the frontrunner for both awards after winning the Champions League with Real Madrid and the European Championships with Portugal.
Tite voting for Neymar isn't a shock
Neymar is currently 33/1 to win the Ballon d’Or.
Tite will have been acutely aware that not voting for Neymar would have led to unfavourable newspaper headlines.
Neymar did recently score his 50th goal for Brazil - he’s still only 24 and has only made 75 appearances for his national team - so you can see why Tite will have voted for the Barcelona star.
You have to feel sorry for Griezmann
As for Griezmann, well, it’s hard not to feel a bit sorry for the Frenchman.
It’s been a bittersweet year for the Atletico Madrid forward who was on the losing teams in both the Champions League final and Euro 2016.
Which three players have been the best of 2016? Have your say by leaving a comment below.
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