Real Madrid forward and Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo last night won Uefa's Best Player in Europe Award (given to the best player of the previous season playing for a club in Europe) to pip Bayern Munich pair Manuel Neuer and Arjen Robben. The former 29-year-old Manchester United star netted a record 17 goals to help Real Madrid lift the Champions League last season.
Thanking his team-mates for their contribution, he said, "I'm really happy, so I must say thanks to my team-mates because without the team, individual awards would not be possible."
— Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano) August 28, 2014
Ronaldo bagged the coveted trophy ahead of Neuer and Robben after winning votes from a panel constituted by journalists. As per UEFA regulations, the award is given after considering the show put up in the previous season. The players are judged on the basis of their performances in all domestic and international competitions, club and national levels, throughout the entire season.
Year of winning the award by Players
|1. Lionel Messi (2010-11)||Barcelona|
|2. Andres Iniesta (2011-12)||Barcelona|
|3. Franck Ribery (2012-13)||Bayern Munich|
Goalkeeper Neuer, 28, helped Die Mannschaft (the German team) lift the FIFA World Cup 2014. The keeper put up a heroic performance and pulled off some great saves enroute to his team's world cup-winning performance.
Bayern and Dutch wingman Robben, scored 21 goals for Bayern and three for the Netherlands on their way to the semi-final in Brazil.
The stylish Madrid man scored a hat-trick to fire Portugal through the play-off opponents against Sweden to reach the FIFA World Cup 2014, but failed to inspire his team. Portugal were a damp squib in the 2014 edition as they were outshone only to be eliminated in the group stage.
The Portugese international's club performance was impressive to bag the trophy ahead of the Bayern Munich duo.
The ex-Manchester United winger scored 51 goals as Real Madrid were crowned European champions (UEFA Champions League) for a record 10th time to complete 'La Decima'. Carlo Ancelotti's men also won the Spanish Copa del Rey but finished a disappointing third in the La Liga.
The remaining seven players before the list was brought down to three nominees comprised of :
- Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich, Germany)
- Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich, Germany)
- Lionel Messi (Barcelona, Argentina)
- James Rodriguez (Monaco/Real Madrid, Colombia)
- Luis Suarez (Liverpool/Barcelona, Uruguay)
- Angel Di Maria (Real Madrid/Manchester United, Argentina)
- Diego Costa (Atletico Madrid/Chelsea, Spain)
Ronaldo netted 56 goals and made 15 assists for Real Madrid and Portugal. He told media, "My aim this season was to win more trophies for the team and for Real Madrid to do well overall."