Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo on Thursday received the UEFA Best Player in Europe award for the 2013-14 season, finishing ahead of Bayern Munich pair Manuel Neuer and Arjen Robben. The Portuguese forward scored a remarkable 17 goals in 11 UEFA Champions League appearances last season, en route to helping Real lift the trophy for a record 10th time. Ronaldo also scored three goals during Real’s run to the Copa del Rey title last season, and 31 strikes in 30 games as Los Blancos finished third in Spain’s La Liga.
"I'm really, really happy," Ronaldo said after being presented the award following the draw for the 2014-15 Champions League group stage on Thursday. "I have to say thank you to my team-mates, to my family, my friends. I don't have this trophy in my museum - I'll put it there straight away."
Prior to winning the award on Thursday, Ronaldo gave several interviews to the press, including Portuguese TV station TVI, which asked him about his rivalry with Barcelona striker Lionel Messi. “The rivalry is formed by the press,” the 29-year-old said. “I have no rivalry with Messi. We face each other professionally and have a normal relationship.” When pressed on who is the better player, Ronaldo replied: “Nobody is better or worse. Everyone does their job and tries to give the best for their team or country. Both of us want to be the best. I believe that in my profession I am the best and I work hard for that. In my head I always think I’m better.”