Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo has won the UEFA Men’s Player of the Year award for the 2016/17 season.
The 32-year-old Portuguese international – who last term helped the Spanish team to their second successive UEFA Champions League title and 12th overall in European football’s premier club competition – received the award at the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League group stage draw in Monaco on Thursday.
Ronaldo picked up the trophy for the second consecutive season and third time in total, having also received the accolade in 2013/14.
He finished ahead of two other shortlisted candidates, Barcelona and Argentina forward Lionel Messi and Juventus and Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, in a poll of the 80 coaches in the group stage of the 2016/17 UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League, together with 55 journalists selected by the European Sports Media (ESM) group, representing each of UEFA’s member associations.
“I’m so glad to be here, and honoured to win this trophy again,” Ronaldo said after receiving the award. “Thank you to my team-mates and congratulations to them too. I’m so blessed – thanks also to the supporters of Real Madrid, and everyone who helped me to achieve this trophy.”
Ronaldo, who finished top scorer in last season’s UEFA Champions League with 12 goals, including two in the final against Juventus in Cardiff, received 482 points in the poll, with Messi (141 votes) and Buffon (109 votes) finishing second and third respectively.
The UEFA Men’s Player of the Year award is based on players’ performances during the 2016/17 season in all competitions, both domestic and international, and at club and national team levels.
Funchal-born Ronaldo first came to prominence at Sporting CP before joining Manchester United in 2003, moving on to Madrid in 2009. He has won the UEFA Champions League four times – once with United in 2008, and on three occasions with Madrid, in 2014, 2016 and 2017.
The gifted front-runner has enjoyed a remarkable goalscoring career, finding the net 530 times in 721 matches overall. He has scored 407 goals in 396 appearances for Madrid – including 90 goals in 88 UEFA Champions League outings. His 15 goals in 52 Champions League appearances for United mean that he is the overall top scorer in Champions League history. He has top-scored in the competition, either jointly or outright, a record six times – including for a record five consecutive campaigns.
Ronaldo has also netted 75 times in 143 appearances for Portugal, and was an inspirational figure in the team that won the UEFA EURO 2016 title in France last year.