Gianluigi Buffon, Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo shortlisted for UEFA Player of the Year award

Paris: Veteran Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon has been named as one of three nominees for the 2016-17 UEFA Men's Player of the Year Award alongside Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, European football's governing body announced on Tuesday.

The 39-year-old Buffon was a key member of the Juventus side that reached last season's Champions League final, but he missed out on a first winner's medal as the Italians were beaten 4-1 by Ronaldo's Real Madrid in Cardiff.

(COMBO) This combination of file pictures created on April 16, 2017 shows Juventus' Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon (L) warming up before the Italian Serie A football match between Juventus and Palermo at the Juventus Stadium in Turin on February 17, 2017 and Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi shooting a penalty kick to score a goal during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg football match FC Barcelona vs Paris Saint-Germain FC at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on March 8, 2017. FC Barcelona will face Juventus during their UEFA Champions league quarter-final football match at the Nou Camp stadium in Barcelona, on April 19, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Miguel MEDINA AND LLUIS GENE

Gianluigi Buffon and Lionel Messi. AFP

The shortlist was decided by the 80 coaches of the clubs that played in the Champions League and Europa League group stages, as well as 55 journalists.

Five-time Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi has won the award twice, as has Portuguese forward Ronaldo.

Since its inception in 2011, unlike other similar individual awards, the UEFA accolade has not been totally dominated by Ronaldo and Messi.

Spain midfielder Andres Iniesta won the honour in 2012, followed by French winger Franck Ribery a year later.

Real Madrid, who have lifted the European Cup in three of the past four seasons, had four players in the top 10, with Luka Modric fourth, Toni Kroos fifth and Sergio Ramos seventh.

Argentinian forward Paulo Dybala (sixth) joined his Juve team-mate Buffon in being named, while Monaco's rising teenage star Kylian Mbappe, Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski and former Manchester United forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic rounded out the top 10.

Luis Suarez, who scored 37 goals for Barcelona in all competitions last season, missed out, as did his former team-mate Neymar, who has since joined Paris Saint-Germain in a world-record €222-million ($260.9m) move.


Published Date: Aug 15, 2017 08:37 pm | Updated Date: Aug 15, 2017 08:37 pm


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