Ronaldo, Modric, Salah on UEFA best player award shortlist
NYON, Switzerland (AP) — The UEFA award for the best Europe-based player last season won’t be won by a World Cup champion from France.
Instead, three-time winner Cristiano Ronaldo was joined Monday by former Real Madrid teammate Luka Modric and Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah on a shortlist selected by Champions League coaches and invited journalists across Europe.
The award typically rewards Champions League performances — with all three on the shortlist having played in the final in May — but voters can take the World Cup into account. Coaches could not vote for players on their own team.
“Players are judged on their performances in all competitions — domestic, continental and international,” UEFA said in a statement.
The winner will be announced on Aug. 30 in Monaco at the draw for the group stage of the Champions League.
At the World Cup in Russia, Griezmann won the Bronze Ball as the third-best player at the tournament, selected by a FIFA expert panel, plus the Silver Boot for second place in the scoring table. Mbappe was named best young player in Russia.
Modric won the Golden Ball for captaining Croatia to the final, where his team lost to France.
Ronaldo, now with Juventus, has won the UEFA award each time Madrid has been European champion since the vote was introduced in 2011.
The vote does not always reward a Champions League winner. In 2012, Andres Iniesta won the prize weeks after helping Spain to a second straight European title although Barcelona was eliminated in the Champions League semifinals.
UEFA will also name the best goalkeeper, defender, midfielder and forward in Monaco next week. Ronaldo and Salah are on the forwards shortlist with Messi, and Modric is joined by Kevin De Bruyne and Toni Kroos on the midfielders list.
Griezmann is on a three-player list to be named the best Europa League player last season, after scoring twice in Atletico’s 3-0 win over Marseille in the final. He is joined by Atletico teammate Diego Godin and Dimitri Payet of Marseille. The award will be presented on Aug. 31 at the draw for the group stage of the Europa League.
UEFA will also announce the women’s player of the year from a shortlist of Pernille Harder (Denmark and Wolfsburg), Ada Hegerberg (Norway and Lyon), and Amandine Henry (France and Lyon).