At the Championship League draw ceremony, Real Madrid superstar and Portugal national team player Cristiano Ronaldo was named UEFA’s Best Player in Europe for the 2015-2016 season, coming out on top from a shortlst that included fellow Real Madrid player Gareth Bale and Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann.
“It’s a great honor,” Ronaldo told media after the ceremony. “My team-mates are the key – they are the key every year. I work hard myself but without their help this would not be possible. Thanks to my team-mates from Real Madrid and Portugal. Winning EURO was different because I’ve won the Champions League three times now. To win something with Portugal was the highlight of my career.”
The honor was of little surprise to anyone how’d witnessed Ronaldo’s expert leadership of his team towards winning this year’s Champions League for the 11th time.
“Of course, I feel happy because it was an unbelievable season,” said Ronaldo, perhaps in reference to his penalty shootout performance that sealed Real Madrid’s championship status. “But it wouldn’t be fair if I didn’t mention these two amazing players [Bale and Griezmann]. Griezmann, I am sorry for your loss to Portugal in the final, but you are an amazing player. It was an unbelievable season.”
The honor was derived from lists supplied by journalists affiliated with each of UEFA’s 55 member associations. Each list consisted of those journalists’ personal top 5 players, which were tallied to find out who would make the shortlist.
This marks Ronaldo’s second time to claim the honor, having first won for his performance in the 2013-2014 season. With this win, he is now the second player in the world to have won it twice, alongside Lionel Messi (who won this year’s UEFA Goal of the Season award) since its introduction in 2011.