Image: Cristiano Ronaldo and teammate Gareth Bale.
(Reuters) – Real Madrid duo Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale are in the running with Atletico Madrid striker Antoine Griezmann for the UEFA Best Player in Europe Award, while Barcelona pair Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez have missed out on nomination.
Ronaldo, who will be the favourite for the prestigious award, led Real to their 11th Champions League win before playing a pivotal role in guiding Portugal to their first major international trophy at Euro 2016.
Ronaldo’s team mate Bale, who also won a Champions League medal, inspired Wales to reach the semi-finals at June’s European Championship.
France striker Griezmann lost the Champions League final with Atletico, and was also on the losing side in the Euro 2016 final, although he was crowned top scorer with six goals and was named player of the European Championship.
The three finalists for the award were chosen by journalists from UEFA’S member nations.
Last year’s winner Messi finished fifth in the voting, one place below his Barcelona team mate Suarez, who missed out on the top three despite scoring 59 goals in 53 appearances for the Spanish side.
The winner will be announced on Aug. 25, the day of the draw for the Champions League group stage.
Image: Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Antoine Griezmann, Gareth Bale and Luis Suarez were the top five nomintaed for the UEFA Award.