By Isaac Norman Mwambazi
For the first time since 2010, neither Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo nor will Barcelona captain Lionel Messi be finalists for the UEFA Men’s Player of the Year.
The two arguably greatest footballers of all time have dominated football awards for more than 10 years, opening up the greatest rivalry ever, as well as creating debate over who is better than the other, which is yet to be settled.
With both Juventus and Barcelona failing to claim European glory last season, the two legends of the game have not featured on the three-man shortlist for Best Men’s Player of the year awards released by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) earlier today.
UEFA has also released the nominees for the Men’s Coach of the year shortlist.
UEFA Men’s Player of the Year:
- Robert Lewandowski
Played a combined 41 games for Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League and the Bundesliga, scoring 49 goals and 10 assists. He won the treble (UEFA Champions League, Bundesliga and the DFB Pokal)
- Kevin De Bruyne
Played a combined 42 games for Manchester City in the UEFA Champions League and the Premier League, scoring 15 goals and 22 assists. He won the League Cup and provided the most assists in the 2020/21 Premier League.
- Manuel Neuer
Played a combined 44 games for Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League and the Bundesliga, keeping 21 clean sheets. He won the treble (UEFA Champions League, Bundesliga and the DFB Pokal)
UEFA Men’s Coach of the Year:
- Hansi Flick (Bayern)
Bayern were fourth in the Bundesliga when Flick took the reins in November; a 20-match winning run meant the German giants completed the treble.
- Jürgen Klopp (Liverpool)
Orchestrated the Reds’ unstoppable march to a first English top flight title in three decades, Liverpool finishing 18 points clear, following UEFA Super Cup success.
- Julian Nagelsmann (RB Leipzig)
At 33, became the youngest coach to win a UEFA Champions League knockout tie, leading RB Leipzig to their first semi-final.
May the best win!