UEFA has announced the ten-player shortlist for the of voting for the 2015/16 UEFA Best Player in Europe Award. This season marks the sixth addition of the award, won last season by Lionel Messi of Barcelona and Argentina.

The UEFA Best Player in Europe Award has previously been won by Lionel Messi a record two times (2011 & 2015), Andrés Iniesta (2012), Franck Ribéry (2013) and Cristiano Ronaldo (2014).

Due to the European Sports Media (ESM) group coming up with the initiative with UEFA, as in previous years, journalists from each of UEFA’s 54 member associations provided a list of their five best-ranked players ordered from one to five, with the first receiving five points, the second four and so on.

The ten-man shortlist of players with the most votes in alphabetical order is:

Gareth Bale (Real Madrid & Wales)
Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus & Italy)
Antoine Griezmann (Atlético Madrid & France)
Toni Kroos (Real Madrid & Germany)
Lionel Messi (Barcelona & Argentina)
Thomas Müller (Bayern München & Germany)
Manuel Neuer (Bayern München & Germany)
Pepe (Real Madrid & Portugal)
Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid & Portugal)
Luis Suárez (Barcelona & Uruguay)

In total, 37 players picked up votes including Wigan Atheltic’s Will Griggs despite playing in League One and not appearing for a single minute of Northern Ireland’s Euro 2016 campaign. Astonishingly the forward got more votes than Kevin de Bruyne and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and the same number as Paul Pogba.

Here is a full list of players that had at least one vote but missed out on the ten-man shortlist:

11 Riyad Mahrez (Leicester & Algeria)
12 Jamie Vardy (Leicester & England)
13 Dimitri Payet (West Ham & France)
14 Jérôme Boateng (Bayern München & Germany)
15 Arturo Vidal (Bayern München & Chile)
16 Luka Modrić (Real Madrid & Croatia)
17 N’Golo Kanté (Leicester & France)
18 Zlatan Ibrahimović (Paris Saint-Germain/Manchester United & Sweden)
19= Eden Hazard (Chelsea & Belgium)
19= Andrés Iniesta (Barcelona & Spain)
19= Neymar (Barcelona & Brazil)
19= Renato Sanches (Benfica/Bayern München & Portugal)
23 Robert Lewandowski (Bayern München & Poland)
24 Gonzalo Higuaín (Napoli & Argentina)
25= Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus & Italy)
25= Diego Godin (Atlético Madrid & Uruguay)
25= Will Grigg (Wigan & Northern Ireland)
25= Hugo Lloris (Tottenham & France)
25= Paul Pogba (Juventus & France)
30= Toby Alderweireld (Tottenham & Belgium)
30= Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Borussia Dortmund & Gabon)
30= Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City & Belgium)
30= Kevin Gameiro (Sevilla & France)
30= Grzegorz Krychowiak (Sevilla/Paris Saint-Germain & Poland)
30= Blaise Matuidi (Paris Saint-Germain & France)
30= Georges-Kévin N’Koudou (Marseille & France)
30= Jan Oblak (Atlético Madrid & Slovenia)

The journalists from each of UEFA’s 54 member associations will now cast their votes for the outright winner from the 10-man shortlist, which will be announced during the 2016/17 UEFA Champions League group stage draw in Monaco on 25 August.


Share this article:


Lionel Messi surpassed Gabriel Batistuta to become Argentina’s highest goal scorer during their 4-0 victory over the USA. The 28-year-old Barcelona striker took his tally to 55 goals after converting a sublime free-kick to put Argentina 2-0 up against the hosts.

Messi, who turns 29 on Friday said “I am happy to have surpassed Batistuta’s record and I want to thank my team-mates, it’s theirs as well.”

The strike was his fifth in the Copa América Centenary and he currently lies one behind Chile’s Eduardo Vagas despite missing the first three games of the tournament with a back injury.

The 5 time Ballon d’Or made his debut for Argentina in 2005 in a friendly against Hungary when he came on in the 63rd minute. He has since gone on to win 112 caps for La Albiceleste. This places him fourth on the all-time list behind Javier Zanetti (143), Javier Mascherano (128) and Roberto Ayala (115).



Share this article:


Lionel Messi became just the second Argentina player in history to score 50 international goals after scoring against Bolivia on Wednesday.

Argentina were awarded a penalty in the 29th minute when Ronald Eguino fouled Éver Banega. Messi was on target from the spot and put the Albiceleste 2-0 up against the Andean nation. It was Messi’s 50th goal for Argentina.

The only other Argentine to score more than half a century is former Fiorentina and Roma striker, Gabriel Batistuta, who finished his international career with 56 goals.

Did you know that you can manage international teams in Soccer Manager Worlds?

The ten players with the most goals for Argentina area:

  1. Gabriel Batistuta 56
  2. Lionel Messi 50
  3. Hernán Crespo 35
  4. Diego Maradona 34
  5. Sergio Agüero 32

Messi’s first goal for Argentina came on 1st March 2006, in a friendly against Croatia at the age of 18. The same year he also became Argentina’s youngest ever scorer at the World Cup finals when he scored in a 6-0 win over Serbia.

The 5 time Ballon d’Or winner has now scored 499 career goals. His next game is against fierce rivals Real Madrid on Saturday in El Clásico!



Share this article:


Barcelona forward Lionel Messi has won the Ballon d’Or award for the world’s best player for a record fifth time.

The 28-year-old Argentine claimed the 2015 award at the annual ceremony in Zurich on Monday evening claiming 41.33% of the vote. The award is voted for by a panel of journalists, international coaches and captains. Real Madrid forward Ronaldo was second with 27.76% of the vote and Barca’s Neymar was third with 7.86%.

Upon receiving the award Messi said: “This is a very special moment for me to be back here on this stage again winning another Ballon d’Or.”

“It’s incredible that it’s my fifth and is much more than anything I could have dreamed of as a kid. I want to thank all of those who voted for me first of all. I also want to thank my team-mates, as I always say none of this wold ever have been possible without them.”

“And lastly, I want to thank football in general for everything it has brought me, both the bad and the good, because it has made me grow and learn always.”

Over the past eight years the award has only been won by either Messi or Ronaldo.


Below is the full list of the awards at the FIFA ceremony:

Ballon d’Or – Lionel Messi

World Coach of the Year – Luis Enrique

Puskas Goal of the Year – Wendrell Lira (view here)

FIFA / FIFAPro World XI – Manuel Neuer; Marcelo, Thiago Silva, Sergio Ramos, Dani Alves; Andres Iniesta, Luka Modric, Paul Pogba; Neymar, Lionel Messi, Ronaldo.

Share this article: