Friday, 26 August 2016

SPORT: Cristiano Ronaldo wins UEFA Best Player in Europe Awards

Cristiano Ronaldo has been named Europe's Best Player for the second time after beating Gareth Bale and Antoine Griezmann to the 2015-16 honour.
Ronaldo's heroics for Euro 2016 winners Portugal and Champions League winners Real Madrid last term earned him the prize announced in Monaco.

The presentation was made after Real were drawn in the Champions League's Group F for this season with Legia Warsaw, Borussia Dortmund and Sporting Lisbon on Thursday night.

Ronaldo had already seen off competition from rival Lionel Messi in the previous stage of voting, which decided the final three shortlist.

He and the Argentinean are now the only two players to have won the prize twice. Ronaldo won it following the 2013-14 season while Messi was the first winner in 2010-11 and the holder from last year.

The award was chosen after journalists from UEFA's 55 member associations were asked for their own five choices as the best player in the continent last season.

Ronaldo was then named with Bale and Griezmann in the final three and went into Thursday night's as a raging favourite.

UEFA says the award is set to "recognise[s] the best player, irrespective of his nationality, playing for a football club within the territory of a UEFA member association during the previous season".

Bale was a strong contender for his work with Real and leading Wales to the Euro semi-final while Atletico's Griezmann top scored at this summer's Championships for the final losers.

Messi's teammate Luis Suarez also beat him coming in fourth also after scoring 40 goals as Barcelona won La Liga.

Rounding out the top 10 was Bayern Munich's Thomas Muller and Manuel Neuer, Juventus keeper Gianluigi Buffon and Real Madrid's Toni Kroos and Pepe.

Also on Thursday night, Norway striker Ada Hegerberg was presented the Best Women’s Player in Europe award.

The 21-year-old produced 13 goals and four assists for her club and Olympique Lyon on their way to winning the Women’s Champions League last season.

Her strikes included the opener in the final against Wolfsburg, which Lyon won on penalties.

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