Cristiano Ronaldo is on a roll. He won the Champions League, brought the Euro trophy to home Portugal, had an airport named after him, and just bagged the UEFA Best Player in Europe award.
Very happy and proud to win such a special award. Thank you to my team mates from Real Madrid and Portugal! ✌?️??? pic.twitter.com/vR61LXyW9o
— Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano) August 25, 2016
Ronaldo beat out Real Madrid teammate Gareth Bale and Atlético striker Antione Griezmann to capture the Best Player in Europe award for the second time, having won it in for the first time 2014.
— Gareth Bale (@GarethBale11) August 25, 2016
With Cristiano scoring 54 goals between La Liga, Champions League, and the Euros, it was a one-horse race this year. He was head and shoulders above the competition.
Upon receiving the award, Ronaldo 2.0 was quick to thank his teammates:
My teammates are the key – they are the key every year. I work hard myself but without the help of my teammates this would not be possible. Thanks to my teammates from Real Madrid and Portugal.
There’s been a paradigm shift in the world’s perception of Ronaldo this year.
If Ronaldo 1.0 was a bisexual egotistical maniac, Ronaldo 2.0 is a man blessed by Soccer Gods who cares deeply about his sport, teammates, and community.
Those close to Ronaldo have always known his true character, but it seems like this is the first time the world at large has been able to peel back the veneer to see past the hair gel and resting bitch face.
Lionel Messi’s fall from grace hasn’t hurt Ronaldo’s ratings in the polls either. If you had to pick one or the other, which you don’t, the evaporation of Messi’s image as The Chosen One, Ruler Of All Men, He Who Is Above Reproach has made the choice a real head-scratcher.
Before, the Messi-Ronaldo debate was a popularity contest that Messi was winning in a landslide. Now, it’s a cyclical discussion without a real answer.
Whether Ronaldo goes down as the best ever remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure: he was easily the best player in Europe this year.