UEFA revealed the candidates for its Best Player In Europe award on Aug. 12. Among them are FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez as well as Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo.
Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Cristiano Ronaldo are among the candidates to win the 2015 UEFA Best Player In Europe award.
Don't Miss: Incredible Pokemon Gifts
UEFA's official website revealed the list of candidates on Aug. 12. Journalists from UEFA's 54 member associations voted for the players. Each ballot contains a list of their top five players. The top-ranked player received five points. The succeeding players' point value decreased as they went down the rankings.
The 10 players who garnered the most points moved on to the next round. Messi, Suarez and Ronaldo emerged as the top three, per UEFA.com.
Messi is La Liga's all-time leading scorer. He broke Telmo Zarra's old record of 251 goals on Nov. 22, 2014. On that day, Messi recorded a hat trick against Sevilla. He led FC Barcelona to victory in the Copa del Rey against Athletic Club, per UEFA.com.
Messi's 10 goals lead the UEFA Champions League. His goal total is at par with Ronaldo and Neymar's. Messi won the UEFA Best Player in Europe award in 2011, per UEFA.com.
UEFA Barcelona reporter Graham Hunter states his case for Messi:
"Against this backdrop of sustained, all-time excellence it was Messi's 17-minute destruction of an otherwise ordered, intelligent and stubborn Bayern at the Camp Nou in the semi-final first leg which epitomises why he should be UEFA Best Player In Europe 2014/15.
"Thrashing the ball past Manuel Neuer from distance, mesmerising and unbalancing Jerome Boateng for the second and setting up the definitive 3-0 goal for Neymar -- this was work to prove that even within the small category of genius sportsmen, there are still levels. And Messi's is far, far above the rest."
Ronaldo led La Liga with 61 goals. He surpassed Alfredo Di Stefano as FC Barcelona's second-leading goal scorer in club history. UEFA's official website confirmed this.
Ronaldo scored a career-best five goals against Granada on April 5. He finished the La Liga campaign with three straight hat tricks. These were against Espanyol, Getafe and Armenia, per UEFA.com.
UEFA Real Madrid reporter Joe Walker explains why Ronaldo should win:
"Ultimately, despite semi-final heartache against Juventus, the Portugese was the joint-top UEFA Champions League soccer with 10 goals and is level with Messi on 77 at the head of the all-time list.
"In terms of overall UEFA club competitions, Ronaldo also shares the lead with the Argentinian on 80 strikes to further reiterate his status in the elite game."
Suarez scored two goals in the UEFA Champions League match against Manchester City. It was his first trip to England since he left Liverpool. Suarez, Neymar and Messi scored FC Barcelona's 122 goals in all competitions, per UEFA.com.
Hunter states his case for Suarez:
"Tough draw? Yes, but he notched twice at Manchester City, transforming a difficult away trip into a showcase which practically put his side into the last eight. Barcelona were drawn away to Paris Saint-Germain in the first leg of their quarter-final.
"However, Suarez was now scoring for fun, devouring the pressure and converting it into momentum and success. Two more goals -- and another away hurdle instantly converted into a vaulting horse to the semi-finals.
"The stuff of winners. Adored by his teammates, booked just seven times in 43 matches, champion of Spain and champion of Europe -- all in all, a season of which Suarez could be immensely proud."
Here are the other finalists of UEFA's Best Player in Europe award:
- Gianluigi Buffon, Juventus (24 points)
- Neymar, FC Barcelona (23 points)
- Eden Hazard, Chelsea (21 points)
- Andrea Pirlo, Juventus (12 points)
- Arturo Vidal, Bayern Munich (11 points)
- Carlos Tevez, Boca Juniors (eight points)
- Paul Pogba, Juventus (five points)
UEFA will announce the winner during the 2015/16 UEFA Champions League group stage draw on Aug. 27. The past three winners were Andres Iniesta (2012), Franck Ribery (2013) and Ronaldo (2014).
Don't Miss: The Best HDR TVs
Make sure to log on to I4U News for the latest trends and developments for the geek mind.