Argentina forward Lionel Messi, Portugal striker Cristiano Ronaldo and Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk were nominated for the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Men’s Player of the Year Award.  The winner will be announced in Monaco on August 29 during the draw for the 2019-20 Champions League group stage. Barcelona star Messi, who won the 2018-19 La Liga crown with the Catalan side, was the top goalscorer in last season’s Champions League with 12 strikes.

Ronaldo won the top scorer’s trophy in the inaugural UEFA Nations League finals which Portugal won, besides helping Juventus win the Serie A title last season. Liverpool’s Van Dijk helped shore up his side’s defence as it finished a close second in the Premier League before winning the Champions League.

For the men’s award, the shortlisting was done by a jury consisting of 80 coaches of the clubs which participated in the group stages of the 2018-19 UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League, together with 55 journalists from each of UEFA’s 55 member associations, selected by the European Sports Media (ESM) group.

Real Madrid star Luka Modric of Croatia won the award last year.

The midfielder won after a jury made of 80 coaches from clubs taking part in the Champions League and the Europa League, as well as 55 journalists from each of UEFA’s 55 member associations selected by the European Sports Media (ESM) group voted for him.

Apart from Messi, Ronaldo and van Dijk, the other seven players in the fray are:

* Alisson Becker (Brazil/Liverpool) 57 points
* Sadio Mane (Senegal/Liverpool) 51 points
* Mohamed Salah (Egypt/Liverpool) 49 points
* Eden Hazard (Belgium/Real Madrid) 38 points
* Matthijs de Ligt (Netherlands/Juventus) 27 points
* Frenkie de Jong (Netherlands/Barcelona) 27 points
* Raheem Sterling (England/Manchester City) 12 points.

For the women’s award, three players were selected by a jury of the coaches of 12 highest-ranked teams in the latest UEFA women’s national team rankings, which also comprised the nine European teams which took part in the recent FIFA Women’s World Cup, together with the coaches of the eight clubs which participated in the quarter-finals of the 2018-19 UEFA Women’s Champions League.

The three players who received the most points overall from this voting procedure, in alphabetical order, are:

Lucy Bronze (England – Olympique Lyonnais), Ada Hegerberg (Norway – Olympique Lyonnais), and Amandine Henry (France – Olympique Lyonnais).