Cristiano Ronaldo delivered high praise for Portugal and Real Madrid teammate Pepe, calling him the "best player at the Euros" in an interview with his club's official website on Wednesday.
Ronaldo, who is on the mend from a knee injury suffered in the Euro 2016 final, praised the center back, with whom he won the Champions League and Euro double this year.
"It may well have been the best season he's had since I've known him," said Ronaldo, who added he didn't initially think that Portugal could win the European title but developed that belief as the tournament went along. "For me he was without a doubt the best player for Portugal and one of Real Madrid's best players in the Champions League. I'm happy that he was chosen in the Team of the Tournament. Hopefully he'll also be in the FIFA Team of the Year. I hope he’ll feature because he continues to be an extraordinary player, not just this year but throughout recent years. In my opinion Pepe was the best player at the Euros."
France forward Antoine Griezmann was recognized as the best player in the competition, winning the Golden Ball (and Golden Boot) after scoring six goals. Griezmann, Pepe and Ronaldo were joined on the UEFA Team of the Tournament by Portugal's Rui Patricio and Raphael Guerreiro; Germany's Joshua Kimmich, Jerome Boateng and Toni Kroos; Wales's Joe Allen and Aaron Ramsey; and France's Dimitri Payet.
Neither Ronaldo nor Pepe took part in Real Madrid's UEFA Super Cup triumph over Sevilla or the season-opening win at Real Sociedad.