Lionel Messi wins UEFA Best Player in Europe award

Lionel Messi beat Cristiano Ronaldo and Luis Suarez to win the BestPlayer in Europe award for the 2014/15 season.

It’s Messi’s second Best Player prize after he also won in 2010-11 and he succeeds Ronaldo, who claimed the trophy last year.

Messi’s gong comes after helping Barca to success in La Liga, the Copa del Rey and the Champions League, with the UEFA Super Cup coming in the new season.

The award came after the conclusion of the draw for the Champions League group stages, where Messi and Suarez’s defending champions side Barcelona drew Bayer Leverkusen, AS Roma and BATE Borisov while Ronaldo’s Real Madrid – winners the season before that in 2013-14 – were set with Paris Saint-Germain, Shaktar Donetskand Malmo.

Messi paid tribute to his Barcelona team-mates after picking up the gong.

“The secret to success? It was an incredible year for us. I don’t know if there’s a secret,” he said at the ceremony in Monaco, Mundo Deportivo reports.

“I know we work hard to get it. The locker room was very close with a lot of confidence for an unforgettable year. Luckily we could achieve all our goals.

“I’m very happy. Success is also in part for my team-mates. I’m representing all my team-mates. Without them I wouldn’t be here and that’s all there is.”

Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring a goal during the UEFA Super Cup final football match between FC Barcelona and Sevilla FC in Tbilisi on August 11, 2015
Barcelona’s Argentinian forward Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring a goal during the UEFA Super Cup final football match between FC Barcelona and Sevilla FC in Tbilisi on August 11, 2015 – AFP

Celia Sasic, who retired from football over the summer at the age of 27, won the UEFA Best Women’s Player in Europe award.

UEFA president Michel Platini (R) hands over to Germany's Celia Sasic the trophy of Best Women's player in Europe at the end of the UEFA Champions League Group stage draw ceremony, on August 27, 2015 in Monaco
UEFA president Michel Platini (R) hands over to Germany’s Celia Sasic the trophy of Best Women’s player in Europe at the end of the UEFA Champions League Group stage draw ceremony, on August 27, 2015 in Monaco – AFP

She beat her FFC Frankfurt team-mate Dzsenifer Marozsan and Lyon’s Amandine Henry to the award.

“It’s amazing,” Sasic said

“I also want to say that this is a trophy for my team-mates from the national team and from FFC Frankfurt. I have the best job, I am a striker but my team-mates are the ones who give me good balls, so it’s for them too.”