AP NEWS

Portugal star Ronaldo wins UEFA Best Player in Europe award

August 25, 2016
FILE - A Saturday, May 28, 2016 photo from files of Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrating with the trophy after the Champions League final soccer match between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid at the San Siro stadium in Milan, Italy. The richest clubs and biggest leagues in Europe are set to tighten their grip on the Champions League’s future format and income this week. A deal being prepared by UEFA should end threats by some elite clubs to break away and form a closed European Super League before 2021. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni, File)
FILE - A Saturday, May 28, 2016 photo from files of Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrating with the trophy after the Champions League final soccer match between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid at the San Siro stadium in Milan, Italy. The richest clubs and biggest leagues in Europe are set to tighten their grip on the Champions League’s future format and income this week. A deal being prepared by UEFA should end threats by some elite clubs to break away and form a closed European Super League before 2021. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni, File)

MONACO (AP) — Cristiano Ronaldo has won UEFA’s award as the best player in Europe last season after helping Portugal to win the European Championship and having another stellar campaign for Real Madrid.

Ronaldo, a favorite for a fourth world player of the year award, beat club teammate Gareth Bale of Wales and Atletico Madrid’s France star Antoine Griezmann.

The vote, by journalists from UEFA’s 55 member countries, was announced at the Champions League draw Thursday.

Ronaldo also received the award in 2014. Lionel Messi (twice), Andres Iniesta and Franck Ribery previously won the award, which was first presented in 2011.

UEFA created the prize after the original European Footballer of the Year honor, known as the Ballon d’Or, merged with FIFA’s world player award.

Lyon forward Ada Hegerberg won the women’s award.