Cristiano Ronaldo elected Portugal's best player of century

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LISBON. KAZINFORM - Football star Cristiano Ronaldo was elected Portugal's best player of the century on Wednesday night as Portugal's Football Federation celebrated its 100th anniversary.

The Real Madrid star and triple Ballon d'or winner came ahead of Portugal football legend Eusebio and Luis Figo, at a gala in Estoril casino, around 10 km northwest of capital Lisbon.

Ronaldo has scored 52 goals in 118 matches, breaking Eusebio's record of 41 goals in 64 appearances. Figo managed 32 in 127 games, Xinhua informs.

The 29-year-old was absent due to a commitment with his club, Real Madrid, which play Atletico Madrid on Thursday and was represented by his agent Jorge Mendes.

"We are standing before the best player in world history, the best athlete in history. I am very proud, as a Portuguese national, for having a player of this level. He is an example for young athletes," Mendes said.

Chelsea coach Jose Marinho was also awarded a prize on Wednesday, for best coach of the century.

"When something beautiful happens in my career, I dedicate it to my people," Marinho said. "So I dedicate this to everyone who made Portugal's football history in the past 100 years. We are privileged people here, but history is so much more than that."

Ronaldo, who broke a record in last season's Champions League scoring 17 goals and helped his club Real Madrid clinch its 10 title, was awarded a third Ballon d'or on Monday. He was given the same prize in 2008 and 2013.

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