UEFA have announced the final three-man shortlist for the 2017/18 European Footballer of the Year award, and an African is among the final three, while Lionel Messi did not make the top trio and Neymar is not even in the top 10.
Click through the gallery above to see the top 10 nominees for the 2017/18 UEFA Player of the Year award.
Cristiano Ronaldo, for his exploits at Real Madrid last season, Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah and Ronaldo’s former teammate Luka Modric are the final three nominees for the award, with the winner being announced on 30 August during the UEFA Champions League group stage draw.
Ronaldo and Modric shared the Champions League, FIFA Club World and UEFA Super Cup titles last season, while Salah finished as a runner-up with the Reds in the UCL.
“The award recognises the best players, irrespective of nationality, playing for a club within the territory of a UEFA member association during the past season. Players are judged on their performances in all competitions – domestic, continental and international,” a statement on UEFA’s official website read.
“The shortlist of three players was selected by a jury comprising the 80 coaches of the clubs that participated in the group stages of the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League (32) and UEFA Europa League (48), along with 55 journalists selected by the European Sports Media (ESM) group, representing each of UEFA’s member associations.
“Jury members chose their top three players, with the first receiving five points, the second three and the third one. Coaches were not allowed to vote for players from their own team.”
The award was created in 2011 and was lifted by Messi that year, followed by Andres Iniesta in 2012 and Franck Ribery in 2013, before Ronaldo won his first in 2014. The Argentine then claimed his second in 2015, while the Portuguese has won the past two editions of the award.
While the winner between the final three nominees will only be announced on 30 August, UEFA also announced the rest of the top 10, with Antoine Griezmann finishing in fourth place, ahead of Messi in fifth. Kylian Mbappe came in sixth, Kevin De Bruyne seventh, Raphael Varane eighth, Eden Hazard ninth and Sergio Ramos 10th.