Lionel Messi has been snubbed for UEFA’s Best Player in Europe Award with Cristiano Ronaldo , Gareth Bale and Antoine Griezmann instead shortlisted ahead of him.
Journalists from UEFA’s 55 member associations were asked for their own five choices as the best player in the continent last season.
And now that long list of 10 has been narrowed down to three with Messi, who took home the award last year, missing out.
Rival Ronaldo, fresh from winning the Champions League and Euro 2016, is favourite for the award with Real Madrid teammate Bale also in the frame after his own heroics this summer.
Atletico Madrid’s Griezmann, who top scored at this summer’s European Championships, is the third nominee.
Messi’s teammate Luis Suarez also beat him coming in fourth also after scoring 40 goals as Barcelona won La Liga.
Rounding out the long-list were Bayern Munich teammates Thomas Muller and Manuel Neuer, Juventus’ Gianluigi Buffon and Real Madrid’s Toni Kroos and Pepe, who finished as top scorer at Euro 2016.
Original 10-man shortlist (in alphabetical order)
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)