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Real Madrid’s Ronaldo named as UEFA Player of the Year after UCL triumph

Cristiano Ronaldo has been named as the UEFA Player of the Year after he helped Real Madrid win the Champions League for a second successive time last season.

Ronaldo was shortlisted along with Gianluigi Buffon and Lionel Messi for the award, which was created in 2011.

It was presented to the Portugal international at the Champions League group stage draw on Thursday.

Ronaldo’s outstanding performances helped Los Blancos to become the first club to retain the Champions League trophy.

He scored five goals in the quarterfinal victory over Bayern Munich, with a hat trick in the second leg at the Bernabeu.

Another treble followed in the first leg of the semifinal against Atletico Madrid, and two more goals came in the final success over Juventus.

Barcelona’s Messi scored 54 goals for his club, but they had only the Spanish Super Cup and the Copa del Rey to show for their efforts.

Buffon, 39, was the losing goalkeeper as Madrid beat Juventus in the Champions League final in Cardiff, but helped his club to an Italian Double.

The shortlist was selected using votes collected from the 80 coaches of teams in the group stage of either the Champions League or Europa League and 55 journalists put forward by the European Sports Media (ESM) group.

In addition to Ronaldo’s honour, Lieke Martens was named UEFA Women’s Player of the Year after leading the Netherlands to the 2017 Women’s Euro title this summer on home soil.

The 24-year-old Martens, who plays her club football at Barcelona, scored three goals and was named player of the tournament at the Euro.

“This is so amazing,” she said upon receiving the award. “It’s a big honour. I’m really proud, but I couldn’t achieve this without my teammates. I’m speechless!”

Francesco Totti was the recipient of the President’s Award, which recognises outstanding achievements, professional excellence and exemplary personal qualities.

The Roma legend, who spent his entire career at the Rome club before retiring at the conclusion of last season, became the third Italian to be given the honour, joining AC Milan legends Gianni Rivera and Paolo Maldini.

“I am honoured — wearing a single shirt my entire career was my dream, and I managed to do it,” he said.

Other awards won on the night:

Best Goalkeeper of the 2016/17 UEFA Champions League season:Gianluigi Buffon

Best Defender of the 2016/17 UEFA Champions League season:Sergio Ramos

Best Midfielder of the 2016/17 UEFA Champions League season:Luka Modric

Best Forward of the 2016/17 UEFA Champions League season:Cristiano Ronaldo

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