Messi not in contention for UEFA award

Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo and his team-mate Gareth Bale as well as Atletico Madrid attacker Antoine Griezmann make up the final list. Messi was not even placed fourth in the long list of 10 candidates as Barcelona team-mate Luis Suarez bumped him down to fifth.

Lionel Messi - cropped

Barcelona attacker Lionel Messi is not in the running for the UEFA's top award.

Lionel Messi is not among the three finalists for the UEFA Best Player in Europe Award.

Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo and his team-mate Gareth Bale as well as Atletico Madrid attacker Antoine Griezmann make up the final list. Messi was not even placed fourth in the long list of 10 candidates as Barcelona team-mate Luis Suarez bumped him down to fifth.

Ronaldo is favourite for the award, having led Real Madrid to their 11th Champions League win in 2015-16, before being crowned European champion with Portugal after seeing off France in the final at EURO 2016.

Bale, meanwhile, also won the Champions League with Madrid, while inspiring Wales to the semi-finals at the European Championship. France striker Griezmann lost the Champions League final with Atletico, and was also on the losing side to Ronaldo at the EUROs, although he was crowned top scorer with six goals.

The award, which Messi won last year, is voted for by journalists from UEFA's member nations. Gianluigi Buffon, Toni Kroos, Thomas Muller, Manuel Neuer and Pepe were the other players on the long list.

The winner will be voted for on August 25, the day of the draw for the Champions League group stage.

Positions 4-10 received the following votes:

Luis Suarez (Barcelona & Uruguay) – 29 points
Lionel Messi (Barcelona & Argentina) – 25
Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus & Italy) – 19
Pepe (Real Madrid & Portugal) – 9
Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich & Germany) – 6
Toni Kroos (Real Madrid & Germany) – 5
Thomas Müller (Bayern Munich & Germany) – 2

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