Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Cristiano Ronaldo have been shortlisted as the three finalists to win UEFA’s 2014-15 Best Player in Europe award.
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A panel of 54 journalists from across Europe have selected Messi, Suarez and Ronaldo from a 10 players shortlist and the same panel will select the winner which will be announced on August 27 at the draw for the UEFA Champions League group stage.
Ronaldo won the award last season, following on from Franck Ribery (2013), Andres Iniesta (2012) and Messi (2011) since the award was introduced.
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Messi, 27, will be the favorite to win this time around as he scored 58 goals in all competitions for Barca during the 2014-15 season as they won the La Liga, Copa del Rey and UEFA Champions League treble. Suarez was a key contributor to that success as he propelled Barcelona to greatness in the second half of the season following his return from a four-month ban for biting Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini at the 2014 World Cup. And then there’s Ronaldo.
The Real Madrid superstar had himself another stellar season, even if his club didn’t manage to win a trophy, with the Portuguese forward, 30, scoring 61 goals in total and he finished as the top scorer in La Liga with 48 goals. Ronaldo is the reigning two-time FIFA Ballon d’Or winner as the best player on the planet. Ronaldo and Messi are currently tied on 77 goals each in the UEFA Champions League, which is an all-time record as they head into the 2015-16 campaign.
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The other players to be shortlisted were five players from Juventus (Paul Pogba, Andrea Pirlo, Gianliugi Buffon, Carlos Tevez and Arturo Vidal) while Eden Hazard of Chelsea and Neymar of Barcelona also made the top 10.