Veteran Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon has been named as one of three nominees for the 2016/17 Uefa Men’s Player of the Year Award alongside Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, European football’s governing body announced on Tuesday.
Buffon, 39, was a key member of the Juventus side that reached last season’s Uefa Champions League final, but he missed out on a first winner’s medal as the Italians were beaten 4-1 by Ronaldo’s Real Madrid in Cardiff.
The shortlist was decided by the 80 managers of the clubs that played in the Champions League and Europa League group stages, as well as 55 journalists.
Five-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi has won the award twice, as has Portuguese forward Ronaldo.
Since its inception in 2011, unlike other similar individual awards, the Uefa accolade has not been totally dominated by Ronaldo and Messi.
Spain midfielder Andres Iniesta won the honour in 2012, followed by French winger Franck Ribery a year later.
Real Madrid, who have lifted the European Cup in three of the past four seasons, had four players in the top 10, with Luka Modric fourth, Toni Kroos fifth and Sergio Ramos seventh.
Argentine forward Paulo Dybala (sixth) joined his Juve teammate Buffon in being named, while Monaco’s rising teenage striker Kylian Mbappe, Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski and former Manchester United forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic rounded out the top 10.
Luis Suarez, who scored 37 goals for Barcelona in all competitions last season, missed out, as did his former teammate Neymar, who has since joined Paris Saint-Germain in a world-record €222 million (Dh954.5m) move.
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