Buffon, Messi and Ronaldo Shortlisted for UEFA Player of the Year
Gianluigi Buffon, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have been shortlisted for the UEFA Player of the Year award.
The prestigious award will be presented at the Champions League group stage draw on Aug. 24, with Real Madrid star Ronaldo odds-on favourite to win it for the third time in four years after leading Los Blancos to become the first club to retain the trophy.
Ronaldo overcame a slow start to score five goals in the thrilling quarterfinal victory over Bayern Munich, including a hat trick in the second leg at the Bernabeu. He scored another treble in the first leg of the semi against Atletico Madrid, and two goals in the final success over Juventus to finish as top scorer for a fifth straight season.
Messi scored 54 goals – including a European highest 37 league goals – but Barcelona only had the Spanish Super Cup and the Copa del Rey to show for their efforts.
Buffon comes in after leading Juventus to another Italian double but his chances would have been greatly enhanced had Juventus beaten Madrid to win the Champions League.
Messi and Ronaldo have both won the award twice, with Andres Iniesta (Barcelona) and Franck Ribery (Bayern Munich) the only other players to receive it since its inauguration in 2011.
Meanwhile, Pernille Harder (Denmark, Linkoping and Wolfsburg), Dzsenifer Marozsán (Germany, Lyon) and Lieke Martens (Netherlands, Rosengard and Barcelona) are the three nominees for the women’s award.
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