Leo Messi has won the award as the Best Player in Europe in the UEFA gala held in Monaco. The Argentinian is the first footballer to win the prize twice, after collecting its first edition in 2011. Messi won via a landslide of 49 out of 54 votes, with Luis Suárez coming in at second place with three votes and Cristiano Ronaldo at third place with two.

Speaking at the UEFA gala in Monaco after receiving the award, Messi said: “I want to thank all my teammates for this award because it also belongs to them. [Luis Suárez and I] are just two footballers who are representing the whole locker room. Without them, we wouldn’t be here. So this prize belongs to everybody.”

“It’s true it was an amazing year for us. I don’t know if there’s a secret, but we did work a lot to achieve all these. We had a very tight-knit locker room and we always had the confidence we could make [last season] a season to remember. Luckily, we succeeded and rounded up a superb year,” added the Argentinian crack.

Speaking to TV3, Messi said: “I didn’t know I am the first person to win this award twice, but it’s true it has a few years of history. I know that Cristiano and Iniesta have won it. I assure you I depend a lot on my teammates. If we hadn’t got a good team, we wouldn’t have accomplished all that we did.”

Asked about the goal awarded as the best in the last Champions League, La Pulga said: “Truth is I found out about the goal award when I was already here. They told me about it, I didn’t know there was a voting today. I’m happy about it, it’s an important award and I’m glad I won it. I’m pleased to start the season like this and how the last one ended. I wish we could repeat something similar this year.”

He also had the chance to comment about his situation with his national team: “I never said I wasn’t going to play with the national team. [The media] can’t speak any more nonsense than they already have. I’m used to hear certain things. Now there are some friendlies coming up and as long as the coach wants me I will be playing.”

Messi talked about the quality of the clubs Barcelona got in the Champions League draw: “We knew we were going to get a difficult group. In this edition, more than ever, there’s no easy opponent. We’re pleased with the draw and we’re wishing for this Champions League to begin.”

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