Real Madrid had an extraordinary 2017/18 European campaign, securing their 13th Champions League title and their fourth in the last five years. What impressed many was Los Blancos’ sheer hunger for another triumph, a desire that quickly became evident come the knockout stages.
Manager Zinedine Zidane did well to guide his Madrid side to the summit, but his team’s success would have been much harder to achieve had it not been for its incredible individual talent. The UEFA awards highlighted Real Madrid’s star-studded squad, with each accolade concerning this season bestowed to a Madrid player.
UCL Goalkeeper of the Season: Keylor Navas
Real Madrid’s Costa Rican keeper was the backbone of his team’s success, providing the defense with a stable presence between the sticks throughout the tournament. Navas’s second-leg performance against Bayern Munich in last year’s semi-final was especially impressive, as his heroics ensured his team’s spot in the last stage of the competition. A firing Bayern Munich attack produced 22 total shots, but Navas’s incredible goalkeeping kept the German onslaught to just two goals.
UCL Defender of the Season: Sergio Ramos
The polarizing captain of Real Madrid furthered his case as one of the best defenders and leaders of all time due to his instrumental 2017/18 Champions League performances. Ramos was a consistent force in Los Blancos’ backline, with his communication and organization skills playing a key role in the midfield’s ability to play less defensively and join the attack.
UCL Midfielder of the Season & UEFA Men’s Player of the Year: Luka Modrić
2017/18 was dubbed by the awards’ presenters as Luka Modrić’s best year ever, and understandably so. The diminutive Croatian was the creator for nearly every Madrid attack, dictating play from the center of the park and unleashing the fearsome duo of Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema.
UCL Forward of the Season: Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo left his stamp on Real Madrid in more ways than one, but his 2017/18 Champions League tournament may be his greatest accomplishment while wearing the legendary #7 shirt of Los Blancos. The Portuguese attacker scored 15 goals in 13 matches, with his brace against Juventus in the first leg of the quarter-final marking what was perhaps the best individual performance of the tournament.
UEFA Goal of the Season: Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano’s aforementioned performance against Juventus was stamped by his wonder goal scored in the 64th minute. A trying cross from Dani Carvajal was met by a jaw-dropping bicycle kick from Real Madrid’s striker, who launched the ball past Gianluigi Buffon to give his team a 2-0 advantage on the night.
UEFA President’s Award: David Beckham
England legend David Beckham was the recipient of this year’s UEFA President’s Award, an accolade given to an individual with “outstanding achievements, professional excellence, and exemplary personal qualities,” according to UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin. Beckham merited the recognition due in part to his humanitarian efforts and his role as an ambassador of the beautiful game worldwide.