Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the three finalists for UEFA’s Best Player Award. While this is the news Portugal and his fans wanted and expected to hear, the big surprise is that rival Lionel Messi is not among the finalists.
CR7 is instead joined by Real Madrid teammate Gareth Bale and Atlético Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann.
Ronaldo appears to be the favourite for the award. He led Real Madrid to their 11th Champions League win last season, and made history by leading Portugal to its first international title with a surprise win at the Euro 2016.
Bale also had an exceptional year. He contributed strongly to Real’s Champions League win, and was the star of the sensational Wales team that reached the semi-finals of the Euro 2016.
Less likely to win is Griezmann, who lost the Champions League final and was also on the losing side to Ronaldo at the Euro. Still, he was crowned top scorer with six goals.
The winner will be announced on August 25 during the draw ceremony of the Champions League group stage.