Former Real Madrid megastar Cristiano Ronaldo has won the UEFA Goal of the Season award for his sensational bicycle kick against his present club and Italian giants Juventus in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League quarter-final. The Portuguese skipper bagged an impressive 1,97,496 votes from the fans in a worldwide poll conducted by UEFA on their official website.
Ronaldo defeated Marseille midfielder Dimitri Payet who received 35,558 votes for his rocket strike against RB Leipzig in the UEFA Europa League quarter-final.
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UEFA technical observers stated that Ronaldo's goal showed "An extraordinary display of technique and athleticism," in a statement on its official website.
🏅 Congratulations @cristiano, Goal of the Season winner!Ronaldo topped the poll with nearly 200,000 of the total 346,915 votes! 👏👏👏Past winners, rest of the Top 11, voting info... 👇👇👇— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) August 28, 2018
Ronaldo was the key-man behind Real Madrid 3-0 victory over Juventus on April 3 as he scored twice – the second being the UEFA Goal of Season award winner – and assisted the third.
Thanks to everyone who voted for me. Will never forget that moment, specially the reaction of the fans in the stadium. #UEFA Goal of the Season #SpecialMoment pic.twitter.com/9teapgD9MW— Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano) August 28, 2018
The 33-year-old’s Juventus teammate and Croatian international Mario Mandzukic bagged the award in 2017, while Barcelona ace Lionel Messi won it in 2015 and 2016.
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The third place went to Spain’s Eva Navarro for her solo effort against Germany in the UEFA European Women’s Under-17 Championship on May 21 as UEFA experts described it as a "beautiful curling shot after nimble footwork to beat defenders." She bagged 23,315 votes.
The 11 nominees for the UEFA Goal of the Season award were selected by UEFA’s technical observers and only goals registered in UEFA club or international fixtures were eligible for nomination.
UEFA Goal of the Season winners:
2018: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) v Juventus, 03/04/182017: Mario Mandžukić (Juventus) v Real Madrid, 03/06/172016: Lionel Messi (Barcelona) v Roma, 24/11/152015: Lionel Messi (Barcelona) v Bayern, 06/05/15