Cristiano Ronaldo and Antoine Griezmann have both been named in a 10-man shortlist for UEFA’s Best Player in Europe award.
European football’s governing body released the list on Monday, with Ronaldo the early favourite to scoop the gong after playing a key role in both Portugal’s Euro 2016 triumph and Real Madrid winning the Champions League.
Griezmann, who finished as the top goalscorer at the Euros after scoring six times to help France reach the final, is also in the running alongside Wales’ talisman Gareth Bale and last year’s winner Lionel Messi.
Riyad Mahrez, Jamie Vardy and N’Golo Kante – who all played key roles in Leicester City’s remarkable Premier League title win – missed the final 10 but made the top 20, while Wigan Athletic and Northern Ireland striker Will Grigg was a shock inclusion in the top 25.
Grigg secured the same amount of votes as Juventus and France star Paul Pogba and more than Manchester City ace Kevin De Bruyne and Kevin Gameiro – who fired Sevilla to a third straight Europa League triumph.
Europe’s golden shoe winner Luis Suarez, Gianluigi Buffon, Toni Kroos, Thomas Muller, Manuel Neuer and Pepe complete the 10-man shortlist.
The accolade – voted for by journalists from each of UEFA’s 55 member association – will be cut to a final three on August 5 with the winner announced on August 25, the day of the draw for the Champions’ League group stage.
THE 10-MAN SHORTLIST
Gareth Bale (Real Madrid & Wales)
Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus & Italy)
Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid & France)
Toni Kroos (Real Madrid & Germany)
Lionel Messi (Barcelona & Argentina)
Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich & Germany)
Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich & Germany)
Pepe (Real Madrid & Portugal)
Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid & Portugal)
Luis Suarez (Barcelona & Uruguay)