Buffon joins Messi, Ronaldo on UEFA shortlist

Gianluigi Buffon (Getty Images)
Gianluigi Buffon (Getty Images)

Paris - 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.

The 39-year-old Buffon was a key member of the Juventus side that reached last season's 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 coaches 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.

Argentinian forward Paulo Dybala (sixth) joined his Juve team-mate Buffon in being named, while Monaco's rising teenage star 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 team-mate Neymar, who has since joined Paris Saint-Germain in a world-record 222-million-euro ($260.9m) move.

Voting Booth
What is your favourite sport to watch on TV?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Rugby
55% - 206 votes
Cricket
11% - 43 votes
Football
14% - 51 votes
Athletics
1% - 3 votes
Boxing
1% - 3 votes
Cycling
2% - 7 votes
Golf
6% - 21 votes
Motorsport
5% - 20 votes
Tennis
2% - 8 votes
Water sports
0% - 1 votes
American sports
1% - 5 votes
MMA / WWE / UFC
2% - 7 votes
Vote