Thursday August 27th, 2015

Lionel Messi beat Cristiano Ronaldo and Luis Suarez as he was named UEFA's Best Player in Europe award on Thursday. 

A total of 54 votes from European journalists were tallied, with Messi winning the award overwhelmingly. The Barcelona star received 49 votes, while Suarez and Ronaldo collected three and two votes, respectively.

“We're a unified squad who worked very hard to achieve the goals we did,” Messi said at the awards ceremony. “I'm very happy and I would like to thank my team-mates—without them I wouldn't have achieved this.”

Messi, now a two-time winner of the award, scored 58 goals with 28 assists last year as FC Barcelona won La Liga, the Copa del Rey and Champions League titles.

Messi's goal vs. Bayern voted Europe's best in 2014-15

Last year’s winner, Ronaldo racked up 61 goals and 22 assists for Real Madrid. Luis Suarez scored a 68th minute goal to give Barcelona the lead in their 3-1 final win over Juventus in the Champions League final.

Messi has won the FIFA Player of the Year award four times in his career.

Germany's Celia Sasic took home the UEFA Best Women's Player in Europe award.

- Christopher Chavez

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