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.
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.
Top 10 Nominees
- Gianluigi Buffon (Italy, Juventus)
- Lionel Messi (Argentina, Barcelona)
- Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal, Real Madrid)
- Luka Modrić (Croatia, Real Madrid)
- Toni Kroos (Germany, Real Madrid)
- Paulo Dybala (Argentina, Juventus)
- Sergio Ramos (Spain, Real Madrid)
- Kylian Mbappé (France, Monaco)
- Robert Lewandowski (Poland, Bayern München)
- Zlatan Ibrahimović (Sweden, Manchester United)
Zlatan: The only Premier League player included
The self proclaimed best league in the world had only once player included in the 10 top players in Europe last season and that was Manchestr United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Although United fans will point out that the Red Devils had three players shortlisted for the Europa League 2016/2017 player of the year award: Zlatan, Paul Pogba and Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
La Liga Domination
The top 10 players by league broke down like this:
- La Liga – 5
- Serie A – 2
- Ligue 1 – 1
- Bundesliga – 1
- Premier League 1
Dominant Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo has been in the top three for the UEFA Best Player in Europe Award every year since it started in 2010.
After leading Real Madrid to the Champions League title with two goals in the final, Ronaldo has surely won this one.
Cristiano Ronaldo has won the UEFA Best Player in Europe award twice, both as a European Champion. In 2014 and 2016.
As many have pointed out, Neymar’s lack of involvement in the top 10 UEFA list is some justification for his transfer to PSG.
Ronaldo will be confirmed as the winner of this award on August 24, 2017, before the Champions League group stage draw.