UEFA announces three-man shortlist for Best Player in Europe award

Real Madrid's attacking duo Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale have both been nominated for the accolade, as well as Atlético Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann after memorable seasons for the trio.

UEFA announces three-man shortlist for Best Player in Europe award
Picture source: UEFA

UEFA have officially announced their three-man shortlist for the Best Player in Europe award, with Real Madrid's attacking duo Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale both being nominated, as well as Antoine Griezmann - from Real's arch rivals Atlético. All of the three nominees play their football at club level in La Liga, with only one player across the top ten not playing for clubs in either Spain or Germany.

Real's attacking duo influential for club and country

Ronaldo and Bale were important for Los Blancos as they spearheaded the side to their 11th Champions League triumph at the end of May. The latter was heavily influential as Wales managed to defeat the odds on more than one occasion to reach the semi-finals of this summer's European Championships in France.

Ronaldo (left) and Bale (right) shake hands at the full-time whistle, as Wales were knocked out by the eventual winners. | Photo: Getty
Ronaldo (left) and Bale (right) shake hands at the full-time whistle, as Wales were knocked out by the eventual winners. | Photo: Getty

They lost 2-0 to the eventual winners, who just happened to be Ronaldo's Portugal side - although Cristiano didn't feature heavily in the final itself against host nation France, after sustaining a nasty-looking injury in a challenge with Dimitri Payet.

Griezmann was excellent, but had no winners medals to show for his efforts

Griezmann won runners-up medals in both the Champions League and Euro 2016 finals, but he was crowned the top scorer in France with six goals throughout the competition, as well as winning the Player of the Tournament award.

In the top ten, there were places for three German internationals - goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, midfielder Toni Kroos and Thomas Müller finished in 8th, 9th and 10th respectively.

Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon (6th) and Portugal centre-back Pepe (7th) were the other two players who were voted outside the top five - which occupied two of Barcelona's feared attacking trio. Lionel Messi (5th) and Luis Suárez (4th) narrowly missed out on a player in the three-man shortlist, with the winner set to be announced on August 25 - the day of the draw for the 2016/17 UEFA Champions League group stages.