|Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez have been included in the 2016 UEFA Best Player award Shortlist|
FC Barcelona players Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez have been included in the list of 10 nominees for the 2016 UEFA Best Player in Europe award and they will face competition from Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo and Co.
The full list of nominees was released today by UEFA via their official website after a jury consisting of top journalists from each of UEFA’s 55 member association provided a list of their top 5 best-ranked players in Europe. In the list, the first player received 5 points, the second 4 points and so on to the fifth-placed player. The top ten players with most points advance to the next stage which will be cut to three players on August 5, 2016.
The jury will come again to cast their votes to determine the outright winner of the award which will be publicly announced during the 2016/2017 UEFA Champions League group stage draw to be held in Monaco, France on August 25, 2016.
Star player Lionel Messi won the award last year by a landslide after he picked up a total of 49 votes out of a possible 54, a record in the award’s history. Teammate Luis Suarez finished second with 3 votes ahead of Real Madrid talisman Cristiano Ronaldo who took third spot with two votes.
Messi will be gunning for his 3rd award after winning the first ever edition in 2011.
He is the record winner with two awards to his name out of a possible 6. Luis Suarez will be looking to win his first. Other past winners of the award are Cristiano Ronaldo, Franck Ribery and Andres Iniesta.
Barcelona star Neymar missed out on the top 10 after a not-so-convincing second half of the season. The Brazilian however finished in the top 20 alongside midfielder Andres Iniesta.
2015 UEFA BEST PLAYER IN EUROPE NOMINEES
Gareth Bale (Real Madrid and Wales)
Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus and Italy)
Antoine Griezmann (Atlético Madrid and France)
Toni Kroos (Real Madrid and Germany)
Lionel Messi (Barcelona and Argentina)
Thomas Müller (Bayern Munich and Germany)
Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich and Germany)
Pepe (Real Madrid and Portugal)
Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid and Portugal)
Luis Suárez (Barcelona and Uruguay)
[Sorted in alphabetical order]
NOTE: The award is not solely for players who are European, it is for players who ply their trade in European clubs.
According to UEFA, a total of 37 players picked up votes from the Jury and Leicester City players Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez missed out on the top 10 by just a hair’s breath. Both players along with Dimitri Payet, Jerome Boateng, Arturo Vidal, Luka Modric, N’Golo Kante, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Andres Iniesta, Neymar and Eden Hazard complete the top 20 with the last 3 players joint on 19th spot.
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