UEFA Best Player 2017: it’s Cristiano, Buffon, Messi!

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UEFA Best Player 2017 - Buffon, Ronaldo, Messi

The UEFA Best Player shortlist was revealed on Tuesday afternoon as anticipated.

Now we know who will share the podium with Cristiano Ronaldo for the 2017 UEFA Best Player award on August 24. As expected, UEFA Champions League finalist Gianluigi Buffon and UCL topscorer runner-up Lionel Messi have been the ones chosen to contest CR7 for the prize.

The suspense for this year’s prize is almost non-existent. Putting oneself into Buffon shoes, it’s hard to imagine holding the prestigious accolade in Monaco later this month when a certain 32-year-old athlete broke down your walls in Cardiff, some ten weeks ago. The same applies to Lionel Messi who could not even reach the Last 4 of Europe’s continental competition.

UEFA Best Player in Europe award facts

  1. Ronaldo has never failed to make the final three-man shortlist of the UEFA Best Player award which begins with a 10-man list of nominees.
  2. The Real Madrid forward finished third in the inaugural season of the award (2010/11), in 2012/13 and 2014/15 as well.
  3. In 2011/12, the Portuguese was tied on 17 votes with Lionel Messi as Andres Iniesta was honored.
  4. In 2013-14, he finally lifted the trophy with 27 points at the expense of Manuel Neuer (18) and Arjen Robben (9). In the first round (10-man shortlist), Lionel Messi finished only fifth like Philipp Lahm (24) behind fourth-placed Thomas Muller (39).
  5. Cristiano is the titleholder after bagging 40 votes to crush Antoine Griezmann (8) and Gareth Bale (7) in last year’s edition. Luis Suarez (29) and Lionel Messi (25) did not scoop enough points in the first round and thus failed to make the three-man shortlist in 2016.

It must be noted that Cristiano may not only scoop the UEFA Best Player award come August 24 but also the inaugural Champions League Forward of the Season gong. Talk about scoring goals on top stages despite being sidelined for five matches on the domestic front!

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