Ron­aldo, Messi on UEFA award short­list

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS -

NYON, SWITZER­LAND — Cris­tiano Ron­aldo and Lionel Messi are on the 10-player short­list to be named Union of Euro­pean Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tions Best Player in Europe for last sea­son. Fan favourite Will Grigg missed out but got as many points as Paul Pogba.

Ron­aldo is joined by Pepe, his team­mate on Euro­pean cham­pion teams Por­tu­gal and Real Madrid, on the short­list voted by me­dia from each of UEFA’s 55 mem­ber fed­er­a­tion coun­tries.

The 10 can­di­dates had the big­gest points to­tals in a first-round poll of vot­ers who each picked five play­ers.

Grigg, a North­ern Ire­land for­ward who be­came a cult hero at Euro 2016 with­out even play­ing, fin­ished tied for 25th. He tal­lied the same points as Pogba and Gior­gio Chiellini.

The 10 can­di­dates also in­clude Madrid’s Gareth Bale and Toni Kroos, who both reached the Euro 2016 semi­fi­nals with Wales and Ger­many, re­spec­tively.

A sec­ond round of vot­ing will de­cide the three fi­nal­ists named Aug. 5.

The win­ner will be cho­sen in a fi­nal vote to be an­nounced Aug. 25 dur­ing the Cham­pi­ons League group-stage draw in Monaco.

Best Player in Europe Can­di­dates: Gareth Bale (Wales, Real Madrid), Gian­luigi Buf­fon (Italy, Ju­ven­tus), An­toine Griez­mann (France, Atletico Madrid), Toni Kroos (Ger­many, Real Madrid), Lionel Messi (Ar­gentina, Barcelona), Thomas Mueller (Ger­many, Bay­ern Mu­nich), Manuel Neuer (Ger­many, Bay­ern Mu­nich), Pepe (Por­tu­gal, Real Madrid), Cris­tiano Ron­aldo (Por­tu­gal, Real Madrid), Luis Suarez (Uruguay, Barcelona).

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