MONTE CARLO, Monaco - Portuguese star footballer Cristiano Ronaldo, who led Real Madrid to victory in the 2013-2014 European Champions League, was voted as Union of European Football Associations' (UEFA) Best Player of the Year for the first time.
The 29-year-old beat Bayern Munich duo Manuel Neuer and Arjen Robben for the European award designed for season's top performer, reports Xinhua. Ronaldo collected 24 votes from a panel of European football journalists to claim the title in Monte Carlo just after the draw was made for the 2013-2014 Champions League group stage.
Neuer was second on 19 votes, ahead of Robben who took nine. "I'm really, really happy. I have to say thank you to my teammates, to my family, my friends. I don't have this trophy in my museum. I'll put it there straight away," Ronaldo said upon being presented the award by UEFA president Michel Platini.
Ronaldo bagged 56 goals and made 15 assists for Real Madrid and Portugal last season, including a record-setting 17 goals in 11 European games as Carlo Ancelotti's side stormed to their 10th Champions League title. French star Franck Ribery had won the award last year.