Portuagal and Real Madrid striker Cristiano Ronaldo bagged the UEFA Player of the Season for 2016-2017 on Thursday after a stellar season which saw the Portuguese superstar help his Spanish club Real Madrid clinch the La Liga and UEFA Champions League titles. Ronaldo picked up the coveted award for the third time which was presented on the sidelines of the Champions League group stage draw.
His great rival Lionel Messi has picked up the award on two occasions and could pave the way for him to capture a fifth Ballon d'Or title. "There are the same goals every year, to meet the same challenges, win everything if possible, qualify for the World Cup with my national team," said Ronaldo. "This trophy will give me the motivation to keep working hard, never to give up. I am blessed and delighted to be with Real Madrid."
Ronaldo won the UEFA award in 2013-2014 and 2015-2016 and in the Champions League last season, where Real defeated Juventus 4-1 in the final, he finished as top scorer with 12 goals. Juventus goalkeeper and captain Gianluigi Buffon was second in the voting ahead of Messi.