Messi, Cristiano, Suarez up for UEFA Best Player in Europe award

Nyon (Switzerland), Aug 13 (IANS) Argentine star Lionel Messi, Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo and Luis Suarez of Uruguay were named the three finalists nominated for the UEFA Best Player in Europe Award of the 2014-2015 season, to be announced on August 27.

Journalists from each of the 54 world football’s governing body UEFA associations gave a list of their top five players.

The 10 players with the most points entered a second ballot, which on Wednesday whittled down the list to three finalists: two players from Spanish club FC Barcelona and one from fellow rivals Real Madrid.

Next, jury members will submit their selection from among the finalists, and will meet the winner during the draw for the group stage of the 2015-2016 Champions League, also to be held on August 27 in Monaco.

The UEFA prize has so far been awarded to Messi in 2011, Spanish midfielder Andres Iniesta in 2012, German midfielder Franck Ribery in 2013, and striker Cristiano Ronaldo in 2014.

Messi and Cristiano are thus looking to win the award for the second time and Luis Suarez for the first.

The fourth favourite nominee was Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, and Brazil’s Neymar came in fifth.

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