Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Virgil Van Dijk have all been shortlisted for the 2019 UEFA Player of the year award.
Ronaldo, a three-time winner, has been ever-present in the final three since the award was created in 2011, centre-back Van Dijk makes his first appearance after helping Liverpool win the Champions League title last season.
Van Dijk was voted both the Premier League Player of the Season and the Players’ Player of the Year, and was instrumental in the Merseyside club’s sixth European Cup triumph.
The shortlist of three players was selected by a jury composed of 80 coaches of the clubs which participated in the group stages of the 2018/19 UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League.
The panel included 55 journalists from each of UEFA’s 55 member associations, selected by the European Sports Media (ESM) group.
The coaches and journalists were requested to select a shortlist of three players by allocating respectively five points, three points and one point to each of them.
The final result was based on the total number of votes cast by the coaches and the journalists. The coaches were not allowed to vote for players from their own team.
England’s Lucy Bronze, Norway’s Ada Hegerberg and Amandine Henry of France have all been nominated for the women’s award.
The UEFA Player of the Year awards complement the four UEFA Champions League positional awards, which will crown the best Goalkeeper, Defender, Midfielder and Forward of the 2018/19 UEFA Champions League season, and which will also be presented during the 2019/20 UEFA Champions League group stage draw in Monaco on Thursday 29 August.