There were no Barcelona players at FIFA's 'The Best' ceremony in Zurich on Monday night, but the winner of the night's main award for the best player of 2016, Cristiano Ronaldo, said in his acceptance speech that he understood their decision not to attend.
With a Copa del Rey last 16 return leg against Athletic Club on Wednesday night, and with a 2-1 first leg deficit to overturn, the Blaugrana decided to stay in Catalonia.
"I would have liked it if [Lionel] Messi were here, as well as the rest of the Barcelona players," Ronaldo said as he concluded his speech in Switzerland.
"But they have a cup game, so it's perfectly understandable [why they're not here]."
The player also took the time to thank those who he feels helped him to win the individual award, while he was clearly delighted to go down in history as the first ever player to claim this new prize.
"It's nice to win this trophy as it's presented for the first time," he told those gathered at the ceremony.
"I dedicate it to my Real Madrid teammates, to my national teammates and to my coaches.
"I am at the best point of my career.
"It was a magnificent year, both on an individual and a collective level, so I'm very grateful to everyone."
Ronaldo and his club colleagues also have a Copa del Rey date in this week's diary, as they look to wrap up their tie against Sevilla on Thursday after last week's 3-0 first leg win.
Cristiano Ronaldo: 'Simply The Best'
It had to be him and it was, as Cristiano Ronaldo won FIFA's 'The Best' award to cap off what was a trophy and award-laden 2016.
His unforgettable calendar year saw the Portuguese win this new award from the sport's organisers.
This was in addition to the Ballon d'Or 'France Football' sent his way, his UEFA Best Player in Europe award, his MARCA and La Gazzetta dello Sport Best Player award and the equivalents handed out by Globe Soccer and World Soccer.
As if that wasn't enough proof of what an inspiring year the player put together, he also finished the 2015/16 Champions League as the top goalscorer and was the International Federation of Football History and Statistics' top international goalscorer.
2016 was simply his year, while it was also a confetti-covered one for Real Madrid, who won the Champions League, the UEFA Super Cup and the Club World Cup with Ronaldo's help.
Sergio Ramos, Marcelo, Toni Kroos and Luka Modric were recognised for their contributions with an inclusion in FIFA's Team of 2016.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi didn't vote for each other
FIFA has revealed the breakdown of the votes for that led to Cristiano Ronaldo's winning of 'The Best' prize for the top performer of 2016, and the Portuguese didn't pick Lionel Messi among his top three, while the Argentine selected three Barcelona players on his ballot.
Captains of national teams were to pick three players, giving five points, three points and one point to their first, second and third choices.
The eventual winner gave his highest grade to club colleague Gareth Bale, while two other Real Madrid stars rounded off his list as he awarded three points to Luka Modric and one to Sergio Ramos.
As national team captains themselves, the Croat and Spaniard also got a vote, but they both picked Messi as the second best player of the year, unsurprisingly with Ronaldo top.
The Argentina captain, meanwhile, went for Luis Suarez, Neymar and Andres Iniesta in that order.
Below is the voting breakdown of some of the most high-profile international captains.
Cristiano Ronaldo: Bale, Modric and Ramos
Messi: Luis Suarez, Neymar and Iniesta
Sergio Ramos: Ronaldo, Messi and Iniesta
Dani Alves: Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez
James Rodriguez; Ronaldo, Modric
Luka Modric: Ronaldo, Messi and Bale
Wayne Rooney: Ronaldo, Suarez and Vardy
Manuel Neuer: Kroos, Ozil and Lewandowski
Gianluigi Buffon: Messi, Bale and Ronaldo
Rafa Marquez: Messi, Griezmann and Suarez
Arjen Robben: Ronaldo, Kroos and Lewandowski
Arda Turan: Messi, Neymar and Iniesta
'The Best' voting breakdown
1. Cristiano Ronaldo (34.54%)
2. Messi (26.42%)
3. Griezmann (7.53%)
4. Neymar (6.23%)
5. Luis Suarez (5.11%)
6. Bale (4.62%)
7. Mahrez (2.20%)
8. Buffon (1.85%)
9. Iniesta (1.69%)
10. Kroos (1.25%)
11. Alexis Sanchez (1.19%)
12. Lewandowski (0.93%)
13. Modric (0.89%)
14. Ozil (0.86%)
15. Vardy (0.81%)
16. Neuer (0.80%)
17. Sergio Ramos (0.70%)
18. Ibrahimovic (0.50%)
19. Pogba (0.47%)
20. De Bruyne (0.46%)
21. Kante (0.40%)
22. Kun Aguero (0.38%)
23. Payet (0.17%)
Zidane: What interests me is the team and that we continue to play well
Although he didn't win the award for Best Coach at FIFA's 'The Best' awards, Zinedine Zidane didn't appear too downbeat afterwards, telling reporters that he was only interested in his team and their continued growth.
That the Team of the Year included five of his Real Madrid players was a source of obvious pride to the Frenchman.
"I am interested in the team and whether we continue to play well," he said.
"I have to thank the players as they are the reason I am among the three nominees, and also to thank the coaching staff.
"We work very well all and I am happy to be here.
"This result [five players in the Team of the Year] is the result of the work of each one, of what they do every day."
When the conversation turned to Cristiano Ronaldo, Zidane was asked for his thoughts and gave a simple three-word answer.
"He's the best'" he noted.
Ranieri beats Zidane to Coach of the Year
While Real Madrid's players received no shortage of accolades at FIFA's 'The Best' awards ceremony, their coach Zinedine Zidane had to settle for second place in the Coach of the Year stakes, with Claudio Ranieri claiming that honour thanks to his achievements with Leicester City.
Although Zidane led Los Blancos to Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and Club World Cup wins, the Italian took the Foxes on an extraordinary march to the English Premier League title, as well as steering them into the 2016/17 Champions League last 16 as group winners.
"It was a fantastic evening, not only to be here with a lot of legends but to win as well," Ranieri said after being presented the gong by Diego Maradona.
"I want to thank my wife, my agent and, of course, my players.
"What happened last season in England was amazing and was something strange.
"The gods of football decided Leicester must win."
Portugal's Euro 2016-winning coach Fernando Santos rounded off the final three.
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