MONACO (AP) - Lionel Messi added another individual trophy to his collection Thursday, being voted UEFA’s Best Player in Europe for last season.
The Barcelona star beat Luis Suarez, his teammate at the Champions League winner, and Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo in a Europe-wide poll of journalists.
Messi, the four-time FIFA world player of the year, got the UEFA honor after a season-long duel with Ronaldo for the Champions League scoring record. Both resume this season on 77 goals.
Suarez, who scored the decisive second goal in the 3-1 final win over Juventus in June, reached the shortlist despite starting his season in late-October. The Uruguay forward served a FIFA ban for biting at the 2014 World Cup.
Launched in 2011, the UEFA award previously went to Messi, Andres Iniesta, Franck Ribery and Ronaldo.
Celia Sasic, the German star forward of Women’s Champions League winner Frankfurt, received the women’s award from UEFA President Michel Platini.
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