Europe football’s governing body Uefa has released the shortlist for the 2016 Best Player in Europe award with majority of the stars at Euro 2016 in it, Kickoffwrites.
Real Madrid superstars Cristiano Ronaldoand Gareth Bale as well as Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann feature prominently on the 10-man Uefa best player shortlist after their exploits at the recently concluded European championship in France.
Ronaldo, 31, is heavily favoured to scoop the prize after helping Portugal and Real Madrid win the European Championship and Champions League respectively, while Griezmann also has a shout having picked up the golden ball and MVP award at the Euros.
Barcelona superstars Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez are equally in contention having guided the Catalans to a second straight double last season, while Bale also has a shout after his starring role in Madrid’s run to Champions league glory.
In a statementreleased Monday, Uefa explained how the winner will be chosen on August 25.
“Journalists from each of UEFA’s 55 member associations provided a list of their five best-ranked players, with the first receiving five points, the second four and so on. The ten players with the most points advance to the second vote, which will determine the three finalists to be named on 5 August.
‘The jury will then cast their votes for the outright winner, which will be announced during the 2016/17 UEFA Champions League group stage draw in Monaco on 25 August.”
Since the award’s inception in 2011, Messi is the only player to have lifted it twice (2011 and 2015), with Andres Iniesta (2012), Franck Ribery (2013) and Ronaldo (2014) all claiming the gong once.
Uefa Best Player Shortlist
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 München & Germany)
Manuel Neuer (Bayern München & Germany)
Pepe (Real Madrid & Portugal)
Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid & Portugal)
Luis Suárez (Barcelona & Uruguay