European Football governing body, UEFA, has just released a three-man shortlist of contenders for the 2019 Men’s Player of the Year Award.
The three players include, Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, Liverpool’s Virgil Van Dijk, and Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo.
Van Dijk’s inclusion on the list is not unconnected to Liverpool’s success at last season’s UEFA Champions League where they defeated their local rivals, Tottenham FC in the final match. And to top that up, the English Club recently defeated Chelsea on penalties in the EUFA Super cup on Wednesday.
Equally, Cristiano Ronaldo has been included as result of his performance in the first season at his new club, Juventus. Despite recording 28 goals only all season, UEFA may have shortlisted the Portuguese due to his country’s victory at the National League competition where he was awarded the highest goal scorer.
Meanwhile, Barcelona’s Leonel Messi had a season full of goals as he emerged as the top scorer in the UEFA Champions League, The Spanish La Liga, and had the highest number of goals scored last season in the whole of Europe. So, even when his club ended their season with just the Spanish League cup, his outstanding performance in terms of goals and assists are major contributors to his nomination.
Others who made up the 10-man list of the best players in Europe are:
4) Alisson Becker (Liverpool & Brazil) – 57 points
5) Sadio Mane (Liverpool & Senegal) – 51 points
6) Mohamed Salah (Liverpool & Egypt) – 49 points
7) Eden Hazard (Chelsea/Real Madrid & Belgium) – 38 points
8) Matthijs de Ligt (Ajax/Juventus & Netherlands) – 27 points
9) Frenkie de Jong (Ajax/Barcelona & Netherlands) – 27 points
10) Raheem Sterling (Manchester City & England) – 12 points
UEFA is expected to announce the winner of the award during the draws for the new season of its competitions, on August 29.
Who do you think will win it? Let’s know your thoughts in the comment section.