Breakdown of votes for UEFA Best Player in Europe award
Lionel Messi’s contribution to FC Barcelona’s treble-winning campaign last season has been recognised by UEFA as they awarded him the UEFA Best Player in Europe award for the second time. The little magician finished ahead of club-mate Luis Suarez and Cristiano Ronaldo who also made it to the three-man shortlist.
On Thursday night in Monaco, Messi became the first ever player to win the award twice since its inauguration in 2011. The accolade has been claimed deservedly by Andres Iniesta (2012), Frank Ribery (2013) and Cristiano Ronaldo (2014) in the past for their outstanding contribution to their respective clubs in Europe’s elite competition.
The Argentine arguably had the best season with Barcelona last term, partnering Brazillian star Neymar and Suarez to form Europe's most lethal trident. He made 57 appearances for the Blaugranas, netting 58 goals and assisted 28 across all tournaments. Messi ended up as the competition’s joint top scorer along with Neymar and Ronaldo with 10 goals each.
"We're a unified squad who worked very hard to achieve the goals we did. I'm very happy and I would like to thank my team-mates – without them I wouldn't have received this." said Messi on competition’s official website following the Champions League group stage draw at Grimaldi Forum in Monaco .
Lionel Messi wins with landslide vote
Barcelona’s number 10 was presented with the trophy by French legend and UEFA President Michel Platini. A panel of fifty-four journalists representing each of UEFA’s member associations gathered for the ceremony and placed their votes via electronic system.
This first round of votes by the reporters short-listed ten players which was revealed in mid-July. Neymar, Buffon, Hazard, Pirlo, Vidal, Tevez and Pogba all made the cut in the list for Europe’s best player award.
Lionel Messi gained the most number of votes with 49 out of 54 in the second poll from the three-man list which was announced on August 12. The Uruguayan striker, who is Messi’s club-mate gained 3 votes while Cristiano Ronaldo received just 2 votes from the 54 journalists present at the ceremony.
Having won the award last season and inspiring Los Blancos to their La Decima, it was a disappointing night for the Real Madrid star. Ronaldo and Messi have been competing against each other head to head since 2009 to claim all the major individual honors.
It was a delightful night for Messi who added capped the night off by also claiming the award for UEFA Goal of the year. The right-footed chip above Manuel Neuer in the first leg of semi-final clash against Bayern Munich at the Nou Camp garnered a staggering figure of 1,99,190 votes.