No surprise on Thursday as Real Madrid and Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo won the Best Player in Europe award. The Champions League and Euros double all but assured that the Madrid star would be adding another trophy to his mantlepiece.
Ronaldo was widely tipped to beat out Gareth Bale and Antoine Griezmann to the prize after a memorable season in which he scored 16 goals in the Champions League, including the winning kick in the penalty shootout in the final, and captained Portugal to Euro 2016 glory.
“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”.
The Best Player in Europe award goes to the player who polls the most votes cast by 55 journalists – one representing each association member.
Having drawn even with Messi with his second UEFA Best Player in Europe award, Ronaldo will now hope to lift his fourth Ballon d’Or later this year.