Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are out of the final shortlist for UEFA’s Player of the Year in the men’s edition for the first time in a decade.
Three-time winner Ronaldo, who has also been nominated on nine occasions, had an excellent season for Juventus. He scored a club-record 37 goals in just 46 appearances in all competitions.
The Portuguese ace even scored an insane long-range strike against Lyon in the Champions League, which was later voted as the Goal of the Tournament. Juventus’ failure to progress past the last-16, however, cost him big.
It limited Ronaldo’s involvement in the Champions League, leaving him on just four goals. He would’ve scored more in the group stages had he not been stricken with injury problems.
Messi, who was powerless to prevent Barcelona’s 8-2 thrashing to Bayern Munich in the Champions League semi-finals, is also out. The two-time winner has made the final shortlist six times in the last 10 seasons.
It looks like it’s going to be a two-way battle between Robert Lewandowski and Kevin De Bruyne for the big prize instead.
UEFA also nominated the Pole’s Bayern teammate Manuel Neuer, who did well to keep a clean sheet in the Champions League final victory over PSG, as the third candidate for the Men’s Player of the Year prize.
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