Messi absent as UEFA announce finalists for Player of the Year award

Tanya Simon
August 20, 2018

Cristiano Ronaldo, Luka Modric and Mohamed Salah have been short-listed for the UEFA Player of the Year award, the sport's European governing body said on Monday.

Mohamed Salah is now the first African player and first Premier League player to make the top three of the award since it was first handed out in 2010-11.

For the women's award, the shortlist of three players was selected by a jury composed of the coaches of the 12 highest-ranked teams in the latest UEFA women's national team rankings, together with the coaches of the 8 clubs which participated in the quarter-finals of the 2017/18 UEFA Women's Champions League.

His former team-mate in Madrid, Modric, was a World Cup runner-up with Croatia and the victor of the FIFA Golden Ball. The tournament in Russian Federation could prove to be Croatia's current golden generation last major global appearance, and Zlatko Dalić's side shocked fans across the globe by reaching the final.

Ronaldo, now with Juventus, has won the UEFA award each time Madrid has been European champion since the vote was introduced in 2011.

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For Modric, he enjoyed a fantastic season, winning the Champions League alongside Ronaldo, as well as finishing runner-up at the World Cup and claiming the Golden Ball.

Perhaps most significantly for Salah last season was his ability to single-handedly guide Egypt to the World Cup.

The Egyptian, who scored 44 goals for the Reds last season, is up against Cristiano Ronaldo and Luka Modric. Some of the players that were in the top 10 but were left off of the short list include Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe, Lionel Messi, Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard.

The victor of the men's and women's prizes will be announced at the draw for the Champions League group stage on August 30.

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