Cristiano Ronaldo has been named UEFA’s ‘Best Player in Europe’ for the second time in his career after a phenomenal year that saw him guiding Real Madrid and Portugal to glory in the Champions League and Euro 2016 football tournaments.
The Portuguese footballer was the clear favourite despite facing tough opposition from his Real Madrid teammate Gareth Bale and Atlético Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann.
The award was decided after 55 journalists from UEFA’s member associations voted to decide last season’s top player.
Ronaldo received 40 votes, against Griezmann’s eight and Bale’s seven.
“It’s a great honour and thanks to the journalists for voting for me,” CR7 said as he accepted the award.
“My teammates are the key – they are the key every year. I work hard myself but without the help of my teammates this would not be possible. Thanks to my teammates from Real Madrid and Portugal.
“I have to mention Portugal because it (the Euro 2016 win) was the first in their history. It was different (with Real Madrid) because I’ve won the Champions League three times. To win something with Portugal was the highlight of my career.”
Ronaldo had already won the UEFA ‘Best Player in Europe’ award in 2014. He now joins Barcelona’s Lionel Messi as the only players to have won it more than once.
The award ceremony was held yesterday (August 25) in Monaco after the Champions League group stage draw for the 2016-17 season.