The UEFA Best Player in Europe award for this year is certain to go to one of Madrid’s teams after both Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale were shortlisted as well as Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann. Surprisingly both of Barcelona’s Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi were not included on the shortlist.
Bale was hugely impressive playing for Wales on the path to the Euro 2016 semi-finals and he also won the Champions League with Real Madrid. Griezmann was in the losing team for both of those finals; however, he was the top goal scorer at Euro 2016.
Nonetheless it is Ronaldo who is the favourite to win the award after he captained Portugal to their first ever international tournament win in France last July.
— Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano) July 24, 2016
This year’s winner will be revealed later this month after a jury casts its votes in Monaco on Thursday 25th August. Last year Lionel Messi won the award but this year he was ranked fifth on the original list behind his teammate Luis Suarez.
Just as in previous years it was journalists from each of UEFA’s 55 member associations that provided the initial list of their five best ranked players. The first received five points, the second four, the third three, and so on. The ten players with the most points then advanced to a second round of voting which resulted in the three named finalists.
On the final list of ten players Ronaldo, Bale and Griezmann were all tied in first place. They were followed by Luis Suarez (Barcelona), Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Pepe (Real Madrid), Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Toni Kroos (Real Madrid) and Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich).
Previous winners of the award include Andres Iniesta (2012), Franck Ribery (2013) and Ronaldo (2014).