Monaco (Reuters): Real Madrid's Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo was named UEFA´s Player of the Year, beating Lionel Messi and Gianluigi Buffon to the prize, European soccer´s governing body announced during the Champions League group stage draw in Monaco on Thursday.

Ronaldo helped Real to a second consecutive Champions League title and finished as the tournament´s top scorer with 12 goals last season.

He has now won the award three times, one more than Messi.

The three-player shortlist was chosen by a panel of 80 coaches of clubs that participated in the group stages of the 2016/17 Champions League and Europa League and 55 journalists selected by the European Sports Media (ESM) group, representing each of UEFA´s member associations.