The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Cristiano Ronaldo wins UEFA best player in Europe award ahead of Manuel Neuer and Arjen Robben

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MONACO, Monaco - Cristiano Ronaldo has won UEFA's award as the best player in Europe last season after scoring a record 17 goals in the Champions League.

The Real Madrid and Portgual forward beat Bayern Munich pair Manuel Neuer of Germany and the Netherlands' Arjen Robben.

The voting was by journalists from UEFA's 54 member countries at the Champions League groups draw event.

Ronaldo also ensured Portugal qualified for the World Cup by scoring a memorable hat trick in a playoff win against Sweden.

Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta and Franck Ribery previously won the award first presented in 2011.

UEFA created the prize after the original European Footballer of the Year honour, known as the Ballon d'Or, merged with FIFA's world player award.

Nadine Kessler of Germany won the women's award.

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