Messi and Platini at the Grimaldi Forum / MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

It had to be him. Leo Messi has been chosen as the UEFA Best Player in Europe and as such takes the award that he won back in 2011 in its first year of existence. The Argentine received 49 votes, beating Luis Suárez (3)and Cristiano Ronaldo (2) to the prize with Neymar finishing in fifth place.

The recognition is deserved after an exceptional season for the Barça number 10 in which he scored 58 goals in 57 competitive matches in 2015/16.

His goals, as always, were vital. He scored in the Vicente Calderón against Atlético to hand the blaugranes the league title and he found the net twice in the Copa del Rey final win over Athletic Club. Messi was exceptional in the Champions League final against Juventus, although he was unable to score the goal his performance deserved. Previously, in the semi-finals against Bayern Munich, his two goals were decisive in deciding the tie, one of which has been voted as the best of the Champions League season.

During the season Leo Messi surpassed Telmo Zarra’s league goalscoring record and also moved past the 400 mark in terms of goals in official matches in a Barça shirt. His current total stands at 415 and the man who has won four FIFA Ballon d’Ors has no intention of stopping there.

Leo Messi: I am here thanks to my team mates

With the gala concluded, the Argentine made it clear that the award was not only for him: “I am very happy with the prize, but it is thanks to my team mates, who are a big part of the reason that I am here. Luis Suárez [also nominated] and I are representatives of the dressing room, but neither of us would be here without them.”

“I am convinced that I depend more on the team than they depend on me. If we didn’t have such a good team, we would not have been able to win all that we have.”

“It was an incredible year for everyone. We worked very hard to achieve it. We were a united dressing room who had the confidence to put in a marvellous year.”

“The group that we have is difficult but we knew that because there are plenty of quality teams. We just want it to start,” added the Barça number 10.

Messi, UEFA Best Player in Europe 14/15 por fcbarcelona

Sasic UEFA Best Female Player in Europe

The German footballer Célia Sasic, now retired, has been awarded the prize of the best female player in Europe by UEFA. The midfielder won the Champions League with Bundesliga side FFC Frankfurt.

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