Portuguese forward Christiano Ronaldo has once again added another individual accolade to his trophy loaded cabinet after being crowned the 2015-2016 European footballer of the year.
The 31 year old mercurial Real Madrid icon saw off competition from his Real Madrid Counterpart and Welsh forward Gareth Bale and Athletico Madrid’s Antonio Griezman.
Despite Missing out on Spanish La liga title to Barcelona and failing to complete the EURO Finals due to an injury, Ronaldo was the favorite to pick the award after inspiring Real Madrid and his Portugal soccer team to The UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Euro 2016 finals respectively. Ronaldo scored 35 league goals, 16 Champions league goals and adding 3 at the Euro 2016 Finals as Portugal stunned host France.
Antonio Griezman who had a stellar season with Atletico Madrid and France was the 2nd favorite for the accolade. The French Man, one of the stars of this summer’s European Championship finals, was part of an Atletico Madrid team which was edged on penalties in the final of the Champions League, and also collected a runners-up medal in the Euro 2016 finals scoring 22 league goal for Atletico Madrid, Seven in the Champions League and topping the goal scoring list with six at the Euro 2016 Finals.
Bale was one of Ronaldo’s team-mates in the Spanish capital and skippered Wales to the semi-final stage of Euro 2016.
The shortlisted trio received the most votes from journalists from each of UEFA’s 55 member associations, finishing ahead of Barcelona duo Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi, as well as Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon who were among the original list of six.
UEFA created the prize after the original European Footballer of the Year honor, the Ballon d’Or, merged with FIFA’s world player award.