Meanwhile, winner Alexia Putellas failed to make the final list for the women’s category. Two other Spaniards, Aitana Bonmati and Olga Carmona, made the list after lifting the FIFA Women’s World Cup trophy over their heads last month. Competing against the Spanish duo for the UEFA Women’s Player of the Year title will be Australian striker Sam Kerr.
The coveted award was named the UEFA Best Player in Europe award when the European soccer body introduced it in 2011. The winner of the first edition was Messi. UEFA later rebranded the award in 2017, turning it into the Men’s Player of the Year Award, with the winner being Cristiano Ronaldo.
Ahead of this year’s UEFA Awards ceremony, let’s take a look at the winners of previous editions (men and women):
Cristiano Ronaldo (2017):
Thanks to his Champions League win with Real Madrid, Ronaldo was named UEFA Player of the Year in 2017, beating Messi in the race. The Portuguese goal machine has scored 12 goals in European competitions, including a double in the final against Juventus.
Luka Modric (2018):
Having led Croatia to the World Cup final, Luka Modric surpassed Ronaldo and Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah to win the title in 2018. The Real Madrid midfielder also won the Ballon d’Or for his outstanding performance in the World Cup final.
Virgil van Dey):
Lucy Bronze became the first female defender to be named UEFA Women’s Player of the Year. The Champions League winner beat her Lyon teammates Ada Hegerberg and Amandine Henri into the top three to claim the award.
Pernille Harder (2020):
Having won the title in 2018, Harder repeated her feat two years later. The Danish striker played a key role in Wolfsburg’s exceptional performance in the Champions League, where they lost to Lyon in the final stage. Despite the defeat, Ha
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