Sport Soccer

Thursday 18 January 2018

Martin O'Neill snubbed Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi and selected Gareth Bale as 2016's best footballer

Gareth Bale and (inset) Martin O'Neill
Gareth Bale and (inset) Martin O'Neill
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Martin O'Neill must really be hoping that Gareth Bale doesn't recover in time to take on Ireland at the Aviva in March

The Welsh star is a serious doubt for the clash on March 24 with an ankle injury but O'Neill is not counting on his unavailability and has warned about the threat he poses.

He holds Bale in such high esteem that he chose the Real Madrid as his first preference vote for FIFA’s Player of the Year. An award won this evening by Cristiano Ronaldo.

He selected veteran Italian keeper Gianluigi Buffon as his second and Chelsea and France midfielder N'golo Kante as his third.

Ireland captain Seamus Coleman backed winner Ronaldo ahead of Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.

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