UEFA name Europe’s top three players: Messi, Ronaldo or Ribery?

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A shortlist of Europe’s 10 best players has been whittled down to three.

And usually when Lionel Messi’s involved, he’s the clear winner for just about every single award going. Even the European tiddlywinks champion is cursing the diminutive Argentinian magician…

However, this year Messi has some real competition to be named European Player of the Year. An award ceremony will be held on August 29 to see if Messi, Franck Ribery or Cristiano Ronaldo will lift the coveted title of Europe’s top player.

Previously UEFA released their top 10 players of the year and the position those players finished in has been announced. There was some notable omissions from the top 10, with last years winner Andre Iniesta left out and his teammate Xavi was also snubbed.

Anyway, just missing out on the top three was Borussia Dortmund’s Robert Lewandowski, who came in fourth. The towering Pole almost brought the Champions League trophy to BVB and had a sensational UCL campaign. Behind him in fifth was Bayern Munich’s Arjen Robben, who scored the winner in the final and can count himself unlucky to not make the top three.

(MORE: UEFA names shortlist for Player of the Year, who’s in your top 10?)

Outside of the top five another Bayern Munich player, Thomas Muller, appeared as Bayern’s European dominance is clear for all to see. Then came Welshman Gareth Bale, who was voted the seventh best player in European soccer. If he joins Real Madrid can he break into the top three? Then, just to rub it in, another Munich player came in eight with Bastian Schweinsteiger rewarded for all his hard work. Ninth spot went to Paris Saint-Germain striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Manchester United’s Robin van Persie was voted as the tenth best player in Europe.

Agree with those decisions? This is likely to cause some debate.

Messi’s Barcelona side didn’t win the UEFA Champions League. But he did score an incredible 60 goals in 50 games. Ronaldo scored 55 goals in 55 games. Both of them are unstoppable. But does Ribery, no disrespect, deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as those two? He scored 11 times in 43 games and added plenty of assists. But I would argue that Robben played a bigger part in Munich’s success last term. Sidenote: is Radamel Falcao really not in the top 10?

Anyway, despite all that debate, the big question now is who will win the big prize. Messi, Ronaldo or Ribery?

Who you got?

Soccer world reacts to the Manchester attacks

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NBC News is reporting that at least 19 people have been killed and another 50 are injured following a possible suicide bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester.

Multiple senior U.S. intelligence officials who are monitoring British authorities told NBC News that preliminary reports indicate that a single explosion took place outside the arena on the southwest side opposite the train station. The explosion occurred as the concert ended, catching people as they exited.

Soccer clubs, players and personalities around the world are reacting to the horrible event.

Juventus purchases Cuadrado from Chelsea

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If you didn’t realize Juan Cuadrado still belonged to Chelsea, you’re forgiven.

The Colombian attacker will complete his second season at Juventus after the UEFA Champions League Final against Real Madrid, and won’t be headed back to Chelsea afterwards.

Juve has purchased Cuadrado, and the fee is $22 million, and Juve will pay it over three seasons. Cuadrado, 28, is now signed through 2020 with The Old Lady.

Cuadrado first went on loan to Juve in Aug. 2015, and has eight goals and 18 assists in 83 career appearances with the club.

Chelsea bought Cuadrado from Fiorentina for around $32 million in the January 2015 transfer window, but made just 14 appearances with the club.

Report: Jermain Defoe meeting with Bournemouth

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Sky Sports is reporting that Jermain Defoe may head back to the south of England following Sunderland’s relegation.

Defoe, 34, spent two seasons with Portsmouth between 2008-09, scoring 15 goals in 31 appearances.

[ MORE: ‘The Moment’ of each PL club’s season ]

The 56-times capped England striker had a clause in his Sunderland contract allowing him to leave the Stadium of Light were the Black Cats to be relegated, as they were this season. He’d have little interest in dropping into the Championship given his desire to stay a part of the England squad ahead of the 2018 World Cup.

Bournemouth’s strike corps includes Joshua King, who scored the most goals of any player not on a Top Seven side this season. King’s 16 goals were one more than Defoe’s 15, though the latter scored just one goal following a brace against Crystal Palace on Feb. 4.

Chelsea’s Conte wins pair of top managerial honors

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Antonio Conte took league and national honors from the League Managers Association on Monday night.

The Chelsea boss was named Premier League Manager of the Year and Manager of the Year after leading the Blues to the PL title and an FA Cup Final in his first year on the job.

Brighton and Hove Albion boss Chris Hughton nabbed another Championship boss of the year award after leading the Gulls to the Premier League. He also won the honor with Newcastle United in 2010.

The League One winner is Chris Wilder of Sheffield United. Wilder won the honor with Northampton Town last season.

In League Two, Paul Cook of Portsmouth was named the winner.