UEFA’s Best Player in Europe Too Longlist: Because it’s an actual award

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I think we can all agree soccer needs more awards. Team awards, league awards. Country, world, tournament awards. As I type this I realize: Soccer may exist because of awards, not the other way around. It explains why we all got trophies at the end of AYSO seasons.

The only thing that may be better than all these awards? The excruciatingly long, let’s wink and nod at as many people as possible, long lists. Hint: If your “long” list is 32 players long, it’s a too long list.

Another hint it’s too long list: The name Leslie Davies is on it. “Les” is a striker for Bangor City F.C., a club from Nantporth (Bangor) that plays in the Welsh Premier League. The 27-year-old scored 16 goals in 30 league matches, third-best in the league.

“I wouldn’t have expected this in a million years,” Davies said via the BBC, understating the shock of his inclusion. Clearly, the corruption’s out of control.

Unfortunately, Davies’ inclusion isn’t the craziest part of this award. From UEFA’s online announcement:

On 14 August, UEFA.com will reveal the three players with the most points overall from the first round of voting. They will then proceed to the live vote in Monaco (on August 30) when the same journalists will use an electronic system to determine the winner from the three candidates.

I’m sure there’ll be an unnecessarily slow-moving dipping mechanism, one which will give the attendees time to review the initial, unnecessarily long candidate list:

Sergio Agüero (ARG) – Manchester City FC
Xabi Alonso (ESP) – Real Madrid CF
Mario Balotelli (ITA) – Manchester City FC
Jakub Błaszczykowski (POL) – Borussia Dortmund
Gianluigi Buffon (ITA) – Juventus
Iker Casillas (ESP) – Real Madrid CF
Petr Čech (CZE) – Chelsea FC
Fábio Coentrão (POR) – Real Madrid CF
Leslie Davies (WAL) – Bangor City FC
Didier Drogba (CIV) – Chelsea FC (now at Shanghai Shenhua FC)
Cesc Fàbregas (ESP) – FC Barcelona
Falcao (COL) – Club Atlético de Madrid
Joe Hart (ENG) – Manchester City FC
Zlatan Ibrahimović (SWE) – AC Milan
Andrés Iniesta (ESP) – FC Barcelona
Shinji Kagawa (JPN) – Borussia Dortmund (now at Manchester United FC)
Vincent Kompany (BEL) – Manchester City FC
Frank Lampard (ENG) – Chelsea FC
Lionel Messi (ARG) – FC Barcelona
Luka Modrić (CRO) – Tottenham Hotspur FC
Mesut Özil (GER) – Real Madrid CF
Pepe (POR) – Real Madrid CF
Andrea Pirlo (ITA) – Juventus
Sergio Ramos (ESP) – Real Madrid CF
Raúl González (ESP) – FC Schalke 04 (now at al-Sadd Sports Club)
Cristiano Ronaldo (POR) – Real Madrid CF
Wayne Rooney (ENG) – Manchester United FC
David Silva (ESP) – Manchester City FC
Fernando Torres (ESP) – Chelsea FC
Yaya Touré (CIV) – Manchester City FC
Robin van Persie (NED) – Arsenal FC
Xavi Hernández (ESP) – FC Barcelona