.Ronaldo (left) receiving his award from UEFA boss, Michel Platini –
Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo on Thursday, won UEFA’s Best Player in Europe Award ahead of Bayern Munich pair Manuel Neuer and Arjen Robben.
Portugal captain Ronaldo, 29, scored a record 17 goals to help Madrid win the Champions League last season.
“I’m really happy so I must say thanks to my team-mates because without the team, individual awards would not be possible,” he said.
Ronaldo beat Neuer and Robben in a vote from a panel of 54 journalists.
Goalkeeper Neuer, 28, helped Germany win the World Cup, while Robben, 30, scored 21 goals for Bayern and three for the Netherlands on their way to the semi-final in Brazil.
Ronaldo scored a hat-trick as Portugal beat play-off opponents Sweden to reach the tournament, but failed to shine as his nation were eliminated at the group stage.
However, his club performances were enough to convince the voting panel, who had to choose from the trio after a shortlist of 10 was cut down earlier this month.