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Sports

Ronaldo named UEFA player of the year for third time

Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo reigned supreme at the awards ceremony held during the Champions League group stage draw in Monaco. He beat off competition from Lionel Messi and Gianluigi Buffon.

Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo was named UEFA best men's player in Europe for 2016-2017 at a glittering ceremony in Monte Carlo on Thursday.

The 32-year-old took home the gong for a third time after helping Real become the first team to retain the Champions League in its modern format, as well as winning the Spanish La Liga title.

The Portuguese, who was also named world footballer of the year by FIFA in January, came ahead of Barcelona rival Lionel Messi and Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon in the voting. Messi had won the award twice before. Buffon had to be content with being chosen as best goalkeeper. 

Top coaches and football journalists took part in the poll.

Unsurprisingly, Ronaldo also won the best forward award after hitting 12 goals in 13 matches during Real's Champions League campaign last season.

Sergio Ramos was named best defender and Luka Modric best midfielder as Real swept the individual outfield awards.

Lieke Martens of the Netherlands was named UEFA best women's player after scoring three goals to help her country win their home European Championship.

dpa/mlm

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