No Ronaldo, Messi in UEFA’s Player of the Year Nominations


Photo Courtesy of Yahoo! Sports

Barcelona being the only club Lionel Messi has played for, he collected 732 appearances and 635 goals. After Cristiano Ronaldo’s leave from Real Madrid with 438 appearances and 450 goals, he added 91 appearances with 68 goals to his record in the last two years with Juventus.

Having created a historic rivalry, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi made history yet again. For the first time in ten years, Ronaldo and Messi have not been nominated for UEFA’s Player of the Year Award 2019-2020. Since 2010, both players have gone head to head for the UEFA POTY Award, Ballon D’or, FIFA Best Award, and more. Although boasting high stats, the 35-year-old Juventus player and 33-year-old Barcelona player, respectively, have fallen short on the list. While Ronaldo gained 29 votes, Messi had 53 votes and tied for fourth with Paris Saint Germain player, Neymar Jr.

  New Player of the Year Nominees

 While Messi and Ronaldo failed to earn nominations for Player of the Year, striker Robert Lewandowski (FC Bayern), goalkeeper Manuel Nuer (FC Bayern), and midfielder Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) will fight for the title. Though Ronaldo had eight games with four goals, and Messi finished nine games with three goals, both failed to earn Top Scorer. Meanwhile, 32-year-old FC Bayern Robert Lewandowski made a surprising breakthrough. The Polish striker broke history by leading the board with 15 goals in 10 game appearances.  By surpassing former UEFA POTY winners, Lewandowski helped his team to first place in their group by crushing every opponent, giving them a winning streak. Burning Barcelona in the Quarter Finals with an 8-2 winning, Lewandowski’s FC Bayern did not stop there. Making it to the finals, Bayern Munich won UEFA League Champions against Paris Saint Germain with a clean 1-0 score.

Kevin De Bruyne

With fresh meat on the board for the award, all three players have made a great impression on the public. Starting with Manchester City’s midfielder, Kevin De Bruyne helped his team climb first place in their group in UEFA League. Although not a top scorer, De Bruyne has been creating plays for his teammates to finish to the goal. Playing in seven matches, The Belgium player has made 232 successful passes in UEFA League alone.

 “He is a masterclass player, one of the best players I have ever trained in my life,” said Manchester City Head Coach Josep Guardiola about De Bruyne.

Manuel Nuer

Moving into FC Bayern territory, Manuel Nuer has made his mark on the field. This German goalkeeper played all 11 matches with Bayern as a first-string starter. Saving 27 of 33 shots against, Nuer has pushed his way to becoming one of the best goalkeepers in UEFA League. In addition, he had many memorable saves against Barcelona, Lyon, and Paris Saint Germain that changed the game for everyone. Former Bayern and Germany Goalkeeper Coach Oliver Khan had nothing but praise for Bayern’s captain.

“If you look at everything Manuel has won and how much he has contributed to the team’s titles, you can say he is one of the very best of all time,” he said.

Robert Lewandowski

Lastly, another FC Bayern player has made a big name for himself. Robert Lewandowski broke out of his shell to win it all this year. As a UEFA League Nominee, he successfully kicked both Messi and Ronaldo out of the running of Top Scorer. Alongside playing 10 out of 11 matches with 15 goals, he completed 200 successful passes for his team. The Polish striker made a statement through his skillful tactics that changed FC Bayern’s history. Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge called Lewandowski  “arguably the best professional I have ever come across here.”

“Everything is dedicated to success. The question is whether Robert at 35 will be even better than Cristiano Ronaldo at 35,” noted Rummenigge.

With De Bruyne, Nuer, and Lewandowski getting great remarks, this will be a close call to make. The winner of the  UEFA Player of the Year Award will be announced tomorrow at the 2020-21 UEFA Champions League group stage draw ceremony.