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2019 UEFA Awards: Top 5 contenders for Men's Player of the Year 

Ronaldo is the record winner of the award
Ronaldo is the record winner of the award
Elvis Ume O
Modified 01 Aug 2019, 13:24 IST
Top 5 / Top 10

While it might seem like everything concerning last season has been done and dusted with all the major competitions having been decided, it is germane to note that one aspect which has not been settled is the handing out of individual awards based on perfomances in the period under review.

Numerous prestigious personal awards are still to be decided, with the Ballon d'Or, FIFA Best and UEFA Best Men's Player accolades all coming up for grabs in the next couple of months.

While it might be in the shadow of more illustrious awards like the Ballon d'Or and FIFA Best, the UEFA awards are prestigious accolades in their own right and are highly rated by players and fans alike.

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The awards were introduced in 2011 to initially replace the Ballon d'Or (which was merged with the FIFA World Best in 2010), and has Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric as its current holder.

Crstiano Ronaldo is the record winner of the accolade, while Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta and Frank Ribery have also triumphed.

Ostensibly given to the player adjudged to have outperformed every other player in Europe in the preceding season, the UEFA awards are presented during the draws of the following season's Champions League and serves as the curtain raiser for continental football.

According to UEFA, the award "recognize[s] the best player, irrespective of his nationality, playing for a football club within the territory of a UEFA member association during the previous season." Players are judged by their performances in all competitions, domestic and international, and at club and national team levels throughout the season.


The winner is decided by the votes of 55 journalists representing each of UEFA's 55 member nations, while 80 coaches from the pool of clubs that participated in the Champions League and Europa League in the preceding season also vote.

As expected, this year's award would be an intense battle between superstar players who played key roles for their clubs and nations last season and in this piece, we shall be highlighting the five top contenders to be named the 2019 UEFA Men's Best Player

#5 Matthijs de Ligt - Defender (Juventus)

De Ligt captained Ajax to the Eredivisie
De Ligt captained Ajax to the Eredivisie

Mattijs de Ligt made history on September 21, 2016 when he scored on his debut for Ajax aged 17 years and 40 days, becoming the second youngest goalscorer in the club's illustrious history. Few months later, he created further history as the youngest to ever start a major European final when he started the 2017 Europa League final against Manchester United.


Even at a young age, his leadership qualities were not in doubt and this led to him becoming the youngest captain in Ajax's history and it was in this capacity that he skippered the side to the domestic double as well as the semifinal of the Champions League.

De Ligt starred with 55 appearances in all competitions for Ajax in 2018/2019, scoring the crucial winning goal in the quarterfinal against Juventus in the Champions League.

Despite being just 19, the Ajax trained center-back is already an established international and played a starring role as Netherlands made it all the way to the final of the maiden edition of the Nations League.

His performances saw him become the first defender to win the Golden Boy award and linked him with top European sides before eventually signing for Juventus in a €75m deal.

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Published 28 Jul 2019, 09:13 IST
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