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De Bruyne, Jorginho, Kante up for UEFA award as Messi, Ronaldo miss out

EUROPEAN football body UEFA has named its top 10 nominees for its Player of the Year award, including the three finalists.

The UEFA Player of the Year award is for players in Europe, irrespective of nationality, judged in regard to their performances over the whole season in all competitions – both domestically and internationally – at either club, or national team level, according to the governing body.

All three finalists for the award this year are midfielders: Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne and Chelsea pair Jorginho and N’Golo Kante.

All three helped their clubs to the UEFA Champions League final, which Chelsea won.

In addition, Jorginho won the European Championship in July with Italy, while De Bruyne won the Premier League title and Carabao Cup with Manchester City.

The winner will be named during the 2021/22 UEFA Champions League draw ceremony in Istanbul, Turkey next Thursday.

De Bruyne was runner-up in the award in 2020, while Jorginho is the 10th player to ever win the Champions League and the European Championship in the same year.

The rest of the top 10 nominees are led by Lionel Messi in fourth place and Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski in fifth spot.

Juventus superstar and five-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo is ninth followed by Borussia Dortmund rising star Erling Haaland.

UEFA explains the nomination process thus: “The shortlist of three players was selected by a jury comprising the following:

24 coaches of the teams which participated in this summer’s UEFA EURO 2020. 80 coaches of the clubs that participated in the group stages of the 2020/21 UEFA Champions League (32) and UEFA Europa League (48). 55 journalists selected by the European Sports Media (ESM) group, one from 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.”

Six-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi and Ronaldo have failed to make the top three of the UEFA Men’s Player of the Year award for the second successive season.

UEFA Men’s Player of the Year nominees:

Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City & Belgium)
Jorginho (Chelsea & Italy)
N’Golo Kanté (Chelsea & France)

The rest of the top 10:

4 Lionel Messi (Barcelona, now at Paris & Argentina) – 148 points
5 Robert Lewandowski (Bayern & Poland) – 140 points
6 Gianluigi Donnarumma (AC Milan, now at Paris & Italy) – 49 points
7 Kylian Mbappé (Paris & France) – 31 points
8 Raheem Sterling (Man. City & England) – 18 points
9 Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus & Portugal) – 16 points
10 Erling Haaland (Dortmund & Norway) – 15 points

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