Ronaldo and Martens named European players of the year
Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo was named UEFA’s Player of the Year, beating Lionel Messi and Gianluigi Buffon to the prize, European soccer’s governing body announced during the Champions’ League group stage draw in Monaco on Thursday (August 24).
Ronaldo helped Real to a second consecutive Champions League title and finished as the tournament’s top scorer with 12 goals last season. He has now won the award three times, one more than Messi.
The three-player shortlist was chosen by a panel of 80 coaches of clubs that participated in the group stages of the 2016/17 Champions League and Europa League and 55 journalists selected by the European Sports Media (ESM) group, representing each of UEFA’s member associations.
Barcelona winger Lieke Martens was named UEFA women’s Player of the Year, beating VfL Wolfsburg striker Pernille Harder and Olympique Lyon midfielder Dzsenifer Marozsan.
Martens guided the Dutch women’s team to their first international title when they won the European championship this year. The 24-year-old was named player of the tournament.
Juventus keeper Gianluigi Buffon picked up the best goalkeeper award for his performance in the Champions League last season with Real Madrid players bagging the other individual honours. Sergio Ramos won best defender, Luka Modric was best midfielder and Ronaldo was the best striker.