After fantastic performances with their national team and club, Portugal and Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo and Pepe have been included in a ten-man shortlist for the UEFA Best Player in Europe award.
Chances of bringing home the coveted accolade are good, as together they won the UEFA Champions League with Real Madrid and the Euro 2016 with Portugal.
Ronaldo had another fantastic year, scoring 51 goals for Real Madrid in just 48 matches and finally adding an international title for Portugal to his incredibly long list of achievements.
CR7 won the ‘Best Player in Europe’ award in 2014 and hopes to add another to his trophy room, which will also allow him to match his biggest rival Lionel Messi as the player with the most of these awards.
For Pepe, however, this is a good chance to win his first major individual prize.
The Brazilian-born defender was highly praised for his performance with the Portuguese jersey at the Euro 2016, and has already become one of Real Madrid’s most successful centre-backs of recent years.
The ten-man shortlist will be cut down to just three on August 5, while the final winner will be announced on August 25 in Monaco during the UEFA Champions League group stage draw.
Other players in the running include:
• Gareth Bale (Real Madrid and Wales)
• Antoine Griezmann (Atlético Madrid and France)
• Toni Kroos (Real Madrid and Germany)
• Lionel Messi (Barcelona and Argentina)
• Thomas Müller (Bayern München and Germany)
• Manuel Neuer (Bayern München and Germany)
• Luis Suárez (Barcelona and Uruguay)