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?