Messi, Iniesta, Xavi and Cesc

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, Cesc Fàbregas and Lionel Messi - are in the running for this year’s UEFA Best Player in Europe Award. The four Azulgranas were the driving force behind Josep Guardiola’s four-title 2011/12 season (Spanish Super Cup, European Super Cup, Club World Cup and Copa del Rey). 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

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