UEFA select Cristiano as the Best Player in Europe
Cristiano Ronaldo was voted the continent's best player of last season, beating Antoine Griezmann and Gareth Bale. Olympique Lyon's Ada Hegerberg won the Women's award.
Cristiano Ronaldo was presented with UEFA's Best Player in Europe award in this evening's Champions League draw gala in Monaco. It is the second time that the Real Madrid forward has won the award. Cristiano beat the two other candidates: Atlético's Antoine Griezmann and Madrid team mate Gareth Bale to the trophy, which was handed over by UEFA's interim president and RFEF president Ángel María Villar.
“I'm sure this has been my best season; I've really enjoyed myself. It has been a special year for Portugal and again for Real Madrid. I would like to thank my team mates”, Cristiano said in his acceptance speech. “I am very happy. Obviously it would be unfair not to recognize the merits of Griezmann and Bale”, turning to the Atlético striker to add: “I am sorry that you lost the two finals, Champions League and Euro 2016, but you did a fantastic job”.
Cristiano Ronaldo scored 57 goals in 61 games last season - 16 of them in the Champions League, just one goal short of his own tournament record. The Best Player in Europe award goes to the player who polls the most votes cast by 55 journalists - one representing each association member.
The Women's Best Player in Europe award went to Olympique Lyonnais' talented young Norwegian forward Ada Hegerberg who ended last season as the top scorer in Division 1 Féminine with 33 goals and in the Women's Champions League with 13 goals. In January, she was awarded the highly-prestigious Gold Ball award for being the country's best player.