Cristiano Ronaldo wins UEFA’s best player in Europe award

Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo clenches his fist after scoring during the Champions League quarterfinal second leg soccer match between Real Madrid and Bayern Munich at Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Spain, Tuesday April 18, 2017. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

MONACO (AP) — Cristiano Ronaldo has won his third UEFA men’s player of the year award in four seasons, beating Lionel Messi and Gianluigi Buffon to get the trophy.

Each of Ronaldo’s honors as the best player in Europe followed Real Madrid winning the Champions League.

The Madrid and Portugal star is strongly favored to get a fifth FIFA world player prize in October.

The UEFA vote by journalists from 55 member federations was announced on Thursday at the Champions League group-stage draw.

UEFA created a European prize after the original Ballon d’Or merged with FIFA’s world award.

The women’s award was won by Lieke Martens of the European champion Netherlands. The other ominees were Pernille Harder of Denmark, and Dzsenifer Marozsan of Germany.

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