Sports / Soccer

Ronaldo, Bale top UEFA shortlist

By Agence France Presse (China Daily) Updated: 2016-07-20 07:50

Ronaldo, Bale top UEFA shortlist

Wales' Gareth Bale and Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo after their EURO 2016 semifinal match in Lyon, France, July 6, 2016. [Photo/Agencies]

Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo and Real Madrid teammate Gareth Bale headline a 10-man shortlist announced on Monday for the UEFA Best Player in Europe award.

Ronaldo struck the winning spot kick as Real claimed an 11th Champions League title, beating city rival Atletico Madrid on penalties in May before leading his country to Euro 2016 glory.

Fellow Portugal and Real teammate Pepe is also on the shortlist, along with Wales star Bale, who steered his country to the semifinals of the European Championship in its first appearance in a major finals since 1958.

Ronaldo is favored to win the award for a second time, after scooping the honor in 2013-14, which would see him draw even with Barcelona's Lionel Messi.

Atletico striker Antoine Griezmann was also nominated after his six goals at Euro 2016 earned him the player of the tournament and the Golden Boot, only for France to fall short against Portugal in the final.

Messi was one of two Barcelona players to make the list, along with Luis Suarez, while Bayern Munich duo Manuel Neuer and Thomas Mueller, Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon and Real midfielder Toni Kroos were also included.

The players were selected by journalists from each of UEFA's 55 member associations. Three finalists will be named on Aug 5.

The winner of the award will be announced in Monaco on Aug 25, when the draw for the Champions League group stage is made.


Meanwhile, Ronaldo said on Monday he intends to come back stronger for the upcoming season after being injured in Portugal's victorious Euro 2016 final.

The mercurial striker, who played a key part in leading his country to a maiden major title, limped off in tears with a knee injury in the first half against host France earlier this month.

The 31-year-old has a sprained ligament in his left knee, and Spanish sports daily Marca reported he is unlikely to return to action before Real's third game of the domestic La Liga season.

"Hi everyone! I just wanted to thank all my fans," Ronaldo said in a video on his Instagram account.

"I wanted to tell you that all is well and that I will come back much stronger!

"Thank you, and long live Portugal!"

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