Ronaldo, Messi, Griezmann compete for best player in Europe award

European football governing body UEFA has announced a shortlist of ten players for the 2015/16 UEFA best player in Europe award.

Portugal and Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo; Barcelona and Argentine superstar Lionel Messi; and French and Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann lead the shortlist.

Ronaldo led Portugal to victory at the just concluded EURO championship in France just six weeks after scoring the winning penalty at the San Siro against rivals Atletico Madrid that secured Real Madrid’s eleventh UEFA Champions trophy.

Messi led Barcelona to the La Liga title and captained Argentina to the Copa America final losing to Chile on penalties.

Griezmann was the top scorer at the EURO championship with six goals as he helped France make the finals, as well as taking Atletico Madrid to the Champions League final.

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. Last year’s winner Lionel Messi will be looking to collect his third award after scooping the first in 2011. Other former honourees are Andrés Iniesta (2012), Franck Ribéry (2013) and Cristiano Ronaldo (2014).

The full list of nominees, in alphabetical order, are:

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)

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