UEFA have announced the shortlists for their seven major awards for the 2018/19 season.
The three-man shortlist for UEFA Men’s Player of the Year Award comprises Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus), and Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool).
Messi was top scorer in last season’s Champions League and won the European Golden Shoe as the continent’s top scorer.
Ronaldo was a Nations League winner with Portugal and the top scorer at the finals.
Virgil van Dijk was voted man-of-the-match as Liverpool beat Tottenham Hotspur to win the Champions League for the 6th time.
Positions and voting points for 4 to 10 were announced at the same time as the three-man shortlist.
- Alisson Bekker (Liverpool) 57 points
- Sadio Mane (Liverpool) 51
- Mo Salah 49 points
- Eden Hazard 38
- Matthijs de Ligt and Frenkie de Jong both 27
- Raheem Sterling 12
Last season Real Madrid’s Luka Modric won the award beating out Cristiano Ronaldo, and Mo Salah. Lionel Messi finished 5th in the voting while van Dijk did not make the top ten.
Before Modric’s win, Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi had won the award every season since Franck Ribéry won in 2012/13.
Liverpool goalkeeper Bekker is up for the goalkeeper award and seems certain to beat out Tottenham Hotspur’s Hugo Lloris, and Barcelona’s Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
Likewise, it would seem that Virgil van Dijk has a lock on the best defender award. Also nominated in the category are a club teammate, Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), and fellow Dutch international Matthijs de Ligt (Ajax now Juventus and Netherlands).
Liverpool also has a midfielder nominated, captain Jordan Henderson. However, Henderson faces stiff opposition from Frenkie de Jong (Ajax now Barcelona) and Christian Eriksen (Tottenham Hotspur).
Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are joined by Liverpool’s Sadio Mane in the forward category.
A year ago Real Madrid made a clean sweep of the position awards:
- Goalkeeper: Keylor Navas
- Defender: Sergio Ramos
- Midfielder: Luka Modrić
- Forward: Cristiano Ronaldo
Six awards will be announced in Monaco on August 29 during the draw for the group stage of the UEFA Champions League. The following day the Europa League Player of the Season will be announced as part of the group stage draw for the competition.
Eden Hazard (Chelsea now Real Madrid) will be the favorite to collect the Europa League Award. Also included is Chelsea’s Olivier Giroud who scored 11 goals and Luka Jovic (Eintracht Frankfurt now Real Madrid) who scored 10 goals.
Chelsea beat Arsenal in the Europa League Final with Hazard scoring twice. The winners beat Eintracht Frankfurt in the semi-finals with Hazard scoring a decisive penalty in a shoot-out win.
The Women’s Player of the Year award will be between three Lyon players. Lyon won the UEFA Women’s Champions League beating Barcelona 4-1 in the final.
Ada Hegerberg scored a hat-trick in the final and won the UEFA award in 2016 and was runner-up in 2018.
France’s Amandine Henry has never won the UEFA award although she has been shortlisted for the fourth time. Defender Lucy Bronze is the first English woman to be shortlisted in the award’s seven year history.
A year ago Pernille Harder (Wolfsburg and Denmark) took home the trophy winning out over Hegerberg and Henry.
The award is based on payers in Europe, irrespective of nationality, and are judged on their performances over the 2018/19 season at club and national team levels.
Each of the awards was shortlisted to three players by a jury comprising of 80 coaches of the teams that competed in last season’s Champions League and Europa League group stages, augmented by 55 journalists nominated from each of the UEFA member associations.
Jury members chose their top three players, with the first receiving five points, the second three and the third one but Coaches were not allowed to vote for players from their own team.