Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, Real Madrid forward Ronaldo and FC Barcelona’s Lionel Messi are the three last men standing, as selected by coaches and journalists. UEFA also revealed who were in positions four to 10, with ex-Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic being the only player among the top 10 to have played in the Europa League.
UEFA have announced the three finalists for the 2016/17 UEFA Men’s Player of the Year award.
The winner of the prestigious award will be announced on 24 August, during the UEFA Champions League group stage draw.
UEFA explained the selection process as follows: “The shortlist of three players was selected by a jury comprising the 80 coaches of the clubs which participated in the group stage of the 2016/17 UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League, along with 55 journalists selected by the European Sports Media (ESM) group, representing each of UEFA’s member associations.
“UEFA’s Men’s Player of the Year Award recognises the best players, irrespective of nationality, playing for a club within the territory of a UEFA member association during the past season. Players are judged on their performances in all competitions – domestic, continental and international.
“The final result was based on the total number of votes cast by the coaches and the journalists. The coaches were not allowed to vote for players from their own team.”
Messi and Ronaldo have both won the award twice previously, with the Portuguese having lifted the accolade last season. Other players to have won the award, which was launched in 2011, are Andres Iniesta in 2011/12 and Franck Ribery in 2012/13.
Aside from the main award, UEFA will also announce its newly implemented positional awards for the best goalkeeper, best defender, best midfielder and best forward on 24 August.