Messi, Ronaldo and Suarez nominated for UEFA Best Player in Europe
Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Luis Suarez have been announced as the final three candidates for the 2014/15 UEFA Best Player in Europe Award. The award is chosen by journalists from each of UEFA’s 54 member associations, who provided the organisation with a list of their five best-ranked players.
A ten-man shortlist was drafted in the first round of voting, on the basis of a point scoring system. The players were awarded points on the basis of their position on the list of the journalists. Players in the first position on the lists submitted by the journalists were given 5 points, second place 4, and so.
The three forwards were selected from a ten-man shortlist during the second voting process, beating out the likes of Neymar, Gianluigi Buffon, Paul Pogba and many more.
Let’s see what the three candidates did to deserve their nominations:
Messi was heavily influential for Barcelona last season, despite having to play on the right wing to accommodate the arrival of fellow nominee Luis Suarez. The Argentine scored 58 goals in all competitions for his side, leading his side to a treble in the 2014-15 campaign.
One of his biggest achievements last season was when he broke Telmo Zarra’s La Liga record of 251 career goals, scoring a hat-trick against Sevilla to surpass the landmark. He is also the all-time highest goalscorer in the UEFA Champions League with 77 goals, sharing the record with arch-rival Cristiano Ronaldo.
Cristiano Ronaldo might have had a trophyless campaign with Real Madrid last season, but it was his best year on a personal level. The Portuguese international managed 61 goals in all competitions for the Los Blancos last season, with 48 of them coming in the La Liga.
He overtook Alfredo Di Stefano has Real Madrid’s second highest goal-scorer of all time after his exploits last season, and also shares the record with Messi for the most goals scored in the UEFA Champions League.
Luis Suarez missed out on a few months for Barcelona after he received a ban for biting Chiellini in the World Cup, but the Uruguayan striker cemented himself as one of the best forwards in Europe with his performances last season.
Playing with Neymar and Messi in a three-pronged strike force, Suarez scored 16 goals in 25 league appearances for the Catalan Club. The trio managed 122 goals in total over the entire 2014-15 campaign, as Barcelona managed a clean sweep of all competitions.
The winner of the award will be chosen during the 2015/16 UEFA Champions League group stage draw in Monaco on 27 August, where the jury’s vote will be casted. Previous winners of the award include Lionel Messi in 2011, Andres Iniesta in 2012, Franck Ribery in 2013 and Ronaldo in 2014.
|Real Madrid||Cristiano Ronaldo||47||58||19|
|Barcelona||Luis Suarez||37||23||17 |
* The stats in the table above are based on La Liga and UEFA Champions League.