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UEFA Announces Ten-Man ‘Best Player In Europe’ Shortlist

LYON, FRANCE - JULY 06: Gareth Bale of Wales and Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal embrace after the UEFA EURO 2016 semi final match between Portugal and Wales at Stade des Lumieres on July 6, 2016 in Lyon, France. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Luis Suárez are among the nominees for the UEFA Best Player in Europe award.

The three La Liga-based superstars are among the ten-man shortlist announced by the organisation this morning, but there is no place on the list for Brazilian international Neymar.

Following (but not limited to) their Euro 2016 heroics, Portugal’s Pepe and Antoine Griezmann of France are also among the nominees.

The shortlist was compiled by journalists from each of the 55 UEFA member nations, and will be narrowed down to three on August 5th, before a jury selects the overall winner during the Champions League group stage draw on August 25th.

Messi is the current holder of the award but, to date, Ronaldo is the only player to have been among the three finalists every year since the award’s inception in 2011.

Unsurprisingly, Champions League winners Real Madrid dominate with four of their players on the the list, with two coming from Bayern Munich, two from Barcelona and one each from Juventus and Atlético Madrid.

The ten-man shortlist in full:

Gareth Bale (Real Madrid & Wales)

Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus & Italy)

Antoine Griezmann (Atlético Madrid & France)

Toni Kroos (Real Madrid & Germany)

Lionel Messi (Barcelona & Argentina)

Thomas Müller (Bayern Munich & Germany)

Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich & Germany)

Pepe (Real Madrid & Portugal)

Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid & Portugal)

Luis Suárez (Barcelona & Uruguay)

 

MONACO - AUGUST 27: Luis Suarez (L) and Cristiano Ronaldo (R) watch Lionel Messi win the UEFA Best Player in Europe Award during the UEFA Champions League Draw held at Grimaldi Forum on August 27, 2015 in Monaco, Monaco. (Photo by Tom Dulat - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)

Although there were no Premier League-based nominees in the top ten, the Leicester duo Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy were 11th and 12th respectively in the voting, with West Ham and France star Dimitri Payet finishing in 13th.

New Chelsea signing N’Golo Kanté finished in 17, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic of Manchester United in 18th and Eden Hazard in joint-19th.

However, the biggest shock of all is that Wigan and Northern Ireland striker Will Grigg made the top 25. The 25-year-old forward, known for being on fire and little else, finished on the exact same number of votes as Paul Pogba, the man who could soon become the most expensive player in the world.

BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 27: Will Grigg of Northern Ireland celebrates after scoring during the international friendly game between Northern Ireland and Belarus on May 27, 2016 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

The remaining England-based players to feature in the list of 37 players who all received nominations are Tottenham’s Toby Alderweireld and Hugo Lloris (as well as probable new arrival Georges-Kévin N’Koudou) and Kevin De Bruyne of Manchester City.

The only other member of Portugal’s Euro 2016-winning squad to make the 37-man list was Bayern’s €35m signing Renato Sanches, who placed in 19th.

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Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team.