The trio of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Cristiano Ronaldo have been announced as the final candidates for the 2014-15 Uefa Best Player in Europe award. European football’s governing body announced the 10man longlist for the individual award in July, and UEFA confirmed on Wednesday that Messi, Suarez and Ronaldo were selected for the three-man shortlist.
Ronaldo, who picked up the trophy last year, earns another nomination after a season in which he scored 61 goals in 54 appearances and claimed the Uefa Super Cup and Club World Cup.
Messi and Suarez, meanwhile, formed a fearsome attacking partnership with Neymar that helped inspire Barcelona to the treble in Luis Enrique’s first season in charge.
Chelsea star Eden Hazard finished sixth after inspiring Jose Mourinho’s side to the Premier League title last term, winning the PFA Player of the year award in the process.
Past winners include Messi (2011), Andres Iniesta (2012), Franck Ribery (2013) and Ronaldo (2014).
Despite finishing third in the 2015 Ballon d’Or, Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer only managed to secure 12th spot in the UEFA longlist voting.
Meanwhile, Real’s most expensive ever signing Gareth Bale finished joint-19th with Lyon’s Andre-Pierre Gignac after a frustrating campaign at the Bernabeu.
UEFA also announced the Best Women’s Player of 2014-15 shortlist, with France midfielder Amandine Henry up against German duo Dzsenifer Marozsan and Celia Sasic.