UEFA unveiled the list of nominees for the UEFA Best Player in Europe Award this Monday afternoon. This is the second edition of the award, formerly known as the European Footballer of the Year Award, after Lionel Messi won the inaugural award in Monaco last year during the UEFA Champions League group stage draw.
Four FC Barcelona players - Xavi Hernández, Andrés Iniesta, CescFàbregas and LionelMessi - are in the running for this year’s UEFA Best Player in Europe Award. The four Azulgranas were the driving force behind JosepGuardiola’s four-title 2011/12 season (Spanish SuperCup, European SuperCup, Club WorldCup and CopadelRey). In addition to last season’s successes with Barça, three of the four nominated players, with the exception of Messi, were also instrumental in Spain’s successful 2012 Euro bid in Poland and Ukraine. Furthermore, Iniesta’s brilliant performance during the international tournament earned the Barça midfielder the MVP of the Euro Award.
Jury and short list
The jury, composed of sports journalists from UEFA’s 53 member associations, has already provided the continental football organisation with a list of their top-five best players. UEFA will unveil the names of the top three players with the highest overall points from the first round of voting on August 14. Two weeks later, on August 30, the jury will proceed to the live vote in Monaco during the UEFA Champions League group draw. According to UEFA, the jury will use an electronic system to determine the winner from the three candidates.
The nominees for the UEFA Best Player in Europe Award:
Sergio Agüero (ARG) – Manchester City FC Xabi Alonso (ESP) – Real Madrid CF Mario Balotelli (ITA) – Manchester City FC Jakub Błaszczykowski (POL) –Borussia Dortmund Gianluigi Buffon (ITA) – Juventus Iker Casillas (ESP) – Real Madrid CF Petr Čech (CZE) – Chelsea FC Fábio Coentrão (POR) – Real Madrid CF Leslie Davies (WAL) – Bangor City FC Didier Drogba (CIV) – Chelsea FC (now at Shanghai Shenhua FC) Cesc Fàbregas (ESP) – FC Barcelona Falcao (COL) – Club Atlético de Madrid Joe Hart (ENG) – Manchester City FC Zlatan Ibrahimović (SWE) – AC Milan Andrés Iniesta (ESP) – FC Barcelona Shinji Kagawa (JPN) – Borussia Dortmund (now at Manchester United FC) Vincent Kompany (BEL) – Manchester City FC Frank Lampard (ENG) – Chelsea FC Lionel Messi (ARG) – FC Barcelona Luka Modrić (CRO) – Tottenham Hotspur FC Mesut Özil (GER) – Real Madrid CF Pepe (POR) – Real Madrid CF Andrea Pirlo (ITA) – Juventus Sergio Ramos (ESP) – Real Madrid CF Raúl González (ESP) – FC Schalke 04 (now at Al-Sadd Sports Club) Cristiano Ronaldo (POR) – Real Madrid CF Wayne Rooney (ENG) – Manchester United FC David Silva (ESP) – Manchester City FC Fernando Torres (ESP) – Chelsea FC Yaya Touré (CIV) – Manchester City FC Robin van Persie (NED) – Arsenal FC Xavi Hernández (ESP) – FC Barcelona