The Portuguese skipper has been named alongside Pepe and Sporting goalkeeper Rui Patricio for the Portugal’s Player of the year 2016.
The trio played a vital role in the Seleccao team that lifted the Euro 2016 trophy in France. The “Quinas de Oro” award is presented by the Portuguese Football Federation together with the National Football Association.
This year’s gala will be the second edition since the inauguration of the awards. The winner will be decided through a voting process by coaches, players and the general public, with March 13 being the deadline.
⚽️?? Our nominees for the 2016 ‘Quinas de Oro’ awards:
— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadriden) February 16, 2017
Statistically, Cristiano Ronaldo is in pole position to scoop the nation’s top recognition in the sport against his competitors. Aside from lifting the historic laurel for Portugal in France, the 32-year-old alongside defender Pepe helped Real Madrid to Champions League and Club World Cup successes.
The iconic number 7’s contributions earned him his fourth Ballon d’Or last year and FIFA’s maiden edition of The Best Men’s Player of The Year trophy. Ronaldo’s other competitor, Rui Patricio, helped his boyhood club Sporting C.P to the Portuguese Super Cup triumph last season.
Portugal and Los Blancos legend Luis Figo, who is the chairs of the planning committee of the Quinas de Oro, highlighted the significance of acknowledging the contributions of the nation’s finest footballers. The committee comprises of personalities with extensive experience and knowledge in football.
“These awards recognize the value and work done by whoever stood out last year,” Figo told the Portuguese FA website.
“It is an important initiative for years to come as we continue to promote and improve the categories.”
The Portuguese national team is scheduled to host Hungary and Sweden in a World Cup qualifier and an international friendly respectively, in March. The Seleccao will play against Latvia in another World Cup game before they travel to Russia for the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup in June.