Real Madrid´s Cristiano Ronaldo given UEFA player award

Cristiano Ronaldo

Real Madrid´s Cristiano Ronaldo given UEFA player award

Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo has beaten longstanding rival Lionel Messi to the 2016/17 UEFA Player of the Year trophy.

Messi has won it twice in 2011 and 2015, with Andres Iniesta and Franck Ribery the other players to have won the accolade since its inaugural year in 2010.

Each of Ronaldo's honors as the best player in Europe followed Real Madrid winning the Champions League.

Unsurprisingly, Ronaldo also won the best forward award after hitting 12 goals in 13 matches during Real's Champions League campaign last season.

It was for the second consecutive time, but third in overall, with his first coming off following his spectacular performance in the 2013-14 season.

"This trophy will give me the motivation to keep working hard, never to give up".

Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos was named defender of the season and his team-mate Luka Modric claimed the midfielder award.

"I want to say thank you to my teammates and congratulations to them too", Ronaldo said after he won the award ahead of Barcelona's Lionel Messi and Gianluigi Buffon of Juventus.

Netherlands worldwide and new Barcelona signing Lieke Martens was named UEFA Women's player of the year.

The UEFA vote by journalists from 55 member federations was announced on Thursday at the Champions League group-stage draw.

Martens guided the Dutch women's team to their first worldwide title when they won the European championship this year.

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