It comes as no surprise that Cristiano Ronaldo was named the 2014 Best Player in Europe by UEFA. The Real Madrid and Portugal striker scored a record 17 goals in last year's tournament and led Los Blancos to La Decima, their 10th UEFA Champions League title.
The 29-year-old superstar beat World Cup champion goalie Manuel Neuer from Germany and Dutch star Arjen Robben to win the trophy for the first time in his career. Previous winners include arch rival Lionel Messi, Spaniard Andres Iniesta, and French midfielder Franck Ribery. The award was given out by journalists from 54 countries that make up UEFA.
Ronaldo added another pedigree to his already impressive collection of individual trophies, following a spectacular campaign that resulted in Real's annihilation of La Liga winners, Atletico Madrid 4-0 in the second leg of the UCL. The current Ballon d'Or winner shows no signs of slowing down despite nagging injuries that affected him at the end of last season and throughout the World Cup.
Winning La Decima was the culmination of a very successful campaign, not only for Ronaldo, individually, but for his team, Real Madrid. "A dream come true," the Portuguese footballer called attaining the most UCL titles of any team in Europe at the time.
Even though the very talented Neuer and feisty Robben had great seasons themselves and were worthy candidates for the award, Cristiano Ronaldo was a dominant force when playing the regional tournament. He ended up being a pivotal player in the finals and for the second year in a row and was the top scorer in the UCL, breaking the record with a total 17-goals in the 2013-2014 tourney.
— SoccerPro (@SoccerPro) August 28, 2014
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) August 28, 2014
— Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano) August 28, 2014
Ronaldo had one of his best seasons thus far and proved, once again, why he is considered one of the best players ever to step on a football field. Portugal's captain not only scored 17 goals in his UCL bid, but was the top scorer in La Liga with 31 goals to speak of.
The current season began on the right note for Cristiano Ronaldo, when he scored a brace against Sevilla allowing Real Madrid to take the UEFA Super Cup. Unfortunately, Real ran into Atletico Madrid and were unable to also take the Super Cup of Spain, falling to their across town arch rivals 2-1 in the aggregate.
[Image via Twitter]