The forward has scooped the individual gong for the
second time in his career after helping Real Madrid
and Portugal to Champions League and Euro 2016 glory respectively
Real Madrid and Portugal superstar Cristiano Ronaldo has won the UEFA Best Player in Europe award for the second time.
Ronaldo, 31, claimed the prize ahead of his club team-mate Gareth Bale and Atletico Madrid star Antoine Griezmann.
The forward, who first won the award in 2014, scored
the winning spot-kick as Madrid beat Atletico in the
Champions League final on penalties in May, having already scored 16 goals in the competition, in just 12 games.
And Ronaldo then went on to help Portugal to their
first international title with victory at the Euros, scoring three goals during the tournament.
The former Manchester United star scored a total of
54 goals in La Liga, the Champions League and the European Championship, far outstripping his rivals.
“It’s a great honour and thanks to the journalists for
voting for me,” he said.
“My team-mates are the key – they are the key every
year. I work hard myself but without the help of my team-mates this would not be possible. Thanks to my
team-mates from Real Madrid and Portugal.”
“I have to mention Portugal because it was the first
in their history. It was different because I’ve won the
Champions League three times. To win something with Portugal was the highlight of my career.”
Bale netted 19 league goals and also played a key role in guiding Wales to the semi-finals of Euro 2016 while Griezmann helped France to the final on home turf, scoring six goals in addition to the 29 he had bagged for his club.
Ronaldo will now hope to be crowned the best player
in the world at the Ballon d’Or ceremony at the end of the year, with Lionel Messi the current holder of the prize.