Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona teammates Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez are the finalists for UEFA’s Best Player in Europe Award, UEFA announced Wednesday. The winner will be named on Aug. 27.
Messi won the award in 2011 and Ronaldo was last year’s winner (Andres Iniesta and Franck Ribery won in 2012 and 2013, respectively). Suarez won England's player of the year award for the 2013–14 season while playing with Liverpool.
Messi and Suarez helped Barcelona complete a treble in 2014–15, winning La Liga, the Copa del Rey and the UEFA Champions League. Messi scored 58 goals in all competitions and became La Liga’s all-time leading scorer. Brazilian forward Neymar, the third member of Barca’s fearsome trio of forwards, finished fifth in award voting.
Ronaldo and Real Madrid finished second in La Liga, and the Portuguese star finished with 61 goals in all competitions. Ronaldo had 48 league goals, five ahead of Messi for La Liga's Golden Boot.
- Dan Gartland