Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo, Barcelona star Lionel Messi and Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon have been confirmed as the three nominees for the 2016/17 UEFA Men's Player of the Year Award.
The UEFA Twitter account confirmed the three-man shortlist on Tuesday:
In an accompanying statement on its website, UEFA noted the winner of the prize will be confirmed on Thursday, August 24, when the draw is made for the Champions League group stages.
UEFA also revealed the top 10 in the voting, with Ronaldo's Real Madrid team-mates Luka Modric, Toni Kroos and Sergio Ramos in fourth, fifth and seventh, respectively.Juve's Paulo Dybala was sixth, while Monaco sensation Kylian Mbappe was eighth. Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski and former Manchester United man Zlatan Ibrahimovic round out the list.
"The shortlist of three players was selected by a jury comprising the 80 coaches of the clubs which participated in the group stage of the 2016/17 UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League, along with 55 journalists selected by the European Sports Media (ESM) group, representing each of UEFA's member associations," the UEFA bulletin continued.
Ronaldo will be the big favourite for the title after yet another remarkable campaign for the Spanish giants.
The 32-year-old shone in some crucial matches for his team, helping them to glory in La Liga and the Champions League title. Ronaldo netted twice in the final, as Madrid earned a 4-1 win over Juventus and their 12th European Cup in the process.
As these statistics show, Ronaldo's record at Los Blancos measures up well against one of the club's all-time great players:
The man who couldn't keep Ronaldo off the scoresheet in that final was Buffon, though he had an incredible campaign for Juventus.
The veteran goalkeeper excelled between the sticks as Juve marched into the final. Domestically, Buffon was as consistent as ever as the Bianconeri won their sixth Serie A title in a row, as well as the Coppa Italia.
Messi's Barcelona had to make do with the Copa del Rey last term, although the Argentina international was at his imperious best throughout the season. The Blaugrana icon finished as La Liga's top scorer, netting 37 times for the Catalan outfit