The competition for the best player in Europe revealed
The European Football Association (UEFA) announced today, Wednesday, the final shortlist to compete for the award for the best player in the old continent for the past season, and included the German European champion Bayern Munich duo, Polish striker Robert Lewandowski and veteran goalkeeper Manuel Neuer as well as Belgium's Kevin De Bruyne English Manchester City star.
The name of the winner will be announced on the first of next October during the draw for the group stage of the Champions League competition for the new season at Wifa headquarters in Nyon, which will also witness the announcement of the best player and best coach on the continent.
Lewandowski and Neuer helped lead their team to the three-way trip (the domestic league and cup and the European Champions League), and they are facing an opportunity to add the European Super Cup title to their tally on Thursday when the Bavarian club Sevilla faces the European League champion (Europa League).
Lewandowski scored 55 goals in 47 matches in all competitions, achieving the title of top scorer in the Bundesliga with 34 goals, and the Champions League with 15 goals, while Neuer played all but one of the Champions League matches, and kept clean nets in six of them.
On the other hand, De Bruyne contributed 33 goals in the English Premier League, scoring 10 goals with 20 assists, and was nominated for the award despite the fact that City ranked second after Liverpool locally and out of the European Champions League in the quarter-finals against Lyon, France.
Argentine Lionel Messi, Barcelona's Spanish player, was absent from the shortlist, where he came in fourth place alongside Paris Saint-Germain, French international and Brazilian star Neymar (53 votes each) in the vote by a jury that included 80 coaches for clubs that participated in the group stage of the Champions League and League Last season, the European Union, along with 55 journalists representing European media, including Agence France-Presse.
Juventus, the Italian international, Portuguese Cristiano Ronaldo, came tenth, with only 25 votes, behind the trio of Bayern Munich, Thomas Muller, the sixth (41), the newly-transferred Spaniard, Thiago Alcantara, the English (eighth with 27 votes), and Joshua Kimmich, the ninth (26), while the Saint-Germain star Kilian Mbappe VII (39 votes).
As for the new best coach award, it will be German, as the three candidates are Hanzi Flick (Bayern Munich), Jürgen Klopp (Liverpool) and Julian Nagelsmann (Leipzig).
Among the women, England star Lucy Bronze is competing to win the award for the second year in a row after she helped her team Lyon win the Champions League for the fifth consecutive season before moving recently to Manchester City, with her former colleague, French Wendy Renard, in the three-way list alongside Danish Bernell Harder, who recently joined Chelsea's offensive line after leading Germany's Wolfsburg to the Champions League final.
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