MESSI AND CRISTIANO ARE NOT: The 15 best footballers of the 2021/22 season according to UEFA

This Friday, UEFA, the highest soccer body in Europe, published the names of the finalists for the 2021/22 Player of the Year award.

Karim Benzema, the top candidate, Thibaut Courtois and Kevin De Bruyne are the players who have a chance of winning the individual award that will be presented on 25 August in the draw for the 2022/23 UEFA Champions League group stage.

In addition to sharing the TOP 3, UEFA uploaded the names of the 15 players who received points in this dynamic. Surprisingly for some, and after many years, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi did not get into this list.

There will be those who think that CR7 and Lio should never be missing in such a classification. However, the reality is that neither of them could shine -consistently- in the course that just ended. For this reason, the UEFA technical study group did not even put them among the possible nominees.

What is considered in the UEFA Player of the Year award? Performances throughout the 2021/22 season in all competitions, both national and international, both at club and national team level.

How have the players been nominated and voted for? UEFA’s technical study group put together an initial list of 15 players. Then, the clubs (managers) that participated in the group stage of the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League and UEFA Conference League 2021/22 + a group of journalists selected by the European Sports Media, voted.

Voting steps? The members of the jury chose what, in their opinion, were the three best players throughout the 2021/22 campaign. The first selected received 5 points, the second 3 points and the third 1 point. Coaches were unable to vote for elements of their own team.

And once this exercise was done, the results were as follows:


  • Karim Benzema (Real Madrid – France): the points and the position will be known on August 25.
  • Thibaut Courtois (Real Madrid – Belgium): the points and the position will be known on August 25.
  • Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City – Belgium): the points and the position will be known on August 25.
  • Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich – Poland): 54 points.
  • Luka Modric (Real Madrid – Croatia): 52 points.
  • Sadio Mané (Liverpool – Senegal): 51 points.
  • Mohamed Salah (Liverpool – Egypt): 46 points.
  • Kylian Mbappé (PSG – France): 25 points.
  • Vinícius Junior (Real Madrid – Brazil): 21 points.
  • Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool – Netherlands): 19 points.
  • Bernardo Silva (Manchester City – Portugal): 7 points.
  • Filip Kostic (Eintracht Frankfurt – Serbia): 7 points.
  • Lorenzo Pellegrini (Rome – Italy): 5 points.
  • Trent Alexander Arnold (Liverpool – England): 2 points.
  • Fabinho (Liverpool – Brazil): 1 point.

Undefeated data. For the first time since this award was given (it was established as such in the 2010/11 campaign) that Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi did not appear on the list of 10 or 15 nominees.

Did you know…? Cristiano Ronaldo (3) and Lionel Messi (2) are the footballers who have won the UEFA Player of the Year award the most times in history. Nothing strange.

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