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Best Player in Europe nominees in profile

Published: Monday 18 July 2016, 11.00CET
Ten players are in contention to win the 2015/16 UEFA Best Player in Europe Award in Monaco on 25 August; UEFA.com runs through their achievements this past season.
Best Player in Europe nominees in profile
UEFA Best Player in Europe Award shortlist ©UEFA.com
Published: Monday 18 July 2016, 11.00CET

Best Player in Europe nominees in profile

Ten players are in contention to win the 2015/16 UEFA Best Player in Europe Award in Monaco on 25 August; UEFA.com runs through their achievements this past season.

A cast of stellar names are in the running for the 2015/16 UEFA Best Player in Europe Award, with the winner to be unveiled on 25 August.

The nominees, in alphabetical order, are:

Gareth Bale (Real Madrid & Wales)
Honours: UEFA Champions League

Domestic league
Appearances: 23
Goals: 19
Assists: 10

©Getty Images

UEFA Champions League
Appearances: 8
Goals: 0
Assists: 3

UEFA EURO 2016
Appearances: 6
Goals: 3
Assists: 1

The Welshman suffered an injury-plagued season but still managed 19 Liga goals, the forward's most productive campaign for Madrid. The real glory came in Milan, where Bale – who scored in the final shoot-out – helped his side win a second UEFA Champions League crown in three years, and then France, where his three goals were a key factor in Wales's remarkable run to the UEFA EURO 2016 semi-finals.

©Getty Images

Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus & Italy)
Honours: Serie A, Coppa Italia

Domestic league
Appearances: 35
Clean sheets: 21

UEFA Champions League
Appearances: 8
Clean sheets: 3

UEFA EURO 2016
Appearances: 4
Clean sheets: 3

As consistent as ever at the age of 38, custodian Buffon helped Juve to a fifth straight league title – his seventh overall with the club – and added another Coppa Italia for a second successive double. He also kept ten consecutive clean sheets, setting a new Serie A mark of 974 minutes without conceding, before letting in just one in four appearances at UEFA EURO 2016 as Italy reached the quarter-finals.

©AFP/Getty Images

Antoine Griezmann (Atlético Madrid & France)
Honours: none

Domestic league
Appearances: 38
Goals: 22
Assists: 5

UEFA Champions League
Appearances: 13
Goals: 7
Assists: 1

UEFA EURO 2016
Appearances: 7
Goals: 6
Assists: 2

A season that promised so much for club and country ultimately went unrewarded for Griezmann. There were seven UEFA Champions League goals as Atlético got to a second final in three years – but just as in 2014, neighbours Real Madrid beat them in the decider, Griezmann missing a second-half penalty. The striker was then player of the tournament and won the adidas Golden Boot at UEFA EURO 2016. Once again, though, there was a final loss, France coming up short against Portugal.

©Getty Images

Toni Kroos (Real Madrid & Germany)
Honours: UEFA Champions League

Domestic league
Appearances: 32
Goals: 1
Assists: 10

UEFA Champions League
Appearances: 12
Goals: 0
Assists: 1

UEFA EURO 2016
Appearances: 6
Goals: 0
Assists: 1

©AFP/Getty Images

Metronomic as ever in the heart of midfield, Kroos picked up his second UEFA Champions League winners' medal in four years, Madrid's Milan triumph adding to Bayern München's 2013 victory. Kroos also played all 570 minutes of Germany's UEFA EURO 2016 campaign, earning a place in the team of the championship, although he was unable to inspire his side beyond the semi-finals.

Lionel Messi (Barcelona & Argentina)
Honours: Liga, Copa del Rey, FIFA Club World Cup

Domestic league
Appearances: 33
Goals: 26
Assists: 18

UEFA Champions League
Appearances: 7
Goals: 6
Assists: 1

The two-time UEFA Best Player in Europe had a quiet season by his own standards but still racked up figures that almost any other footballer on the planet would envy. Notching 26 goals in the Liga, Messi burst through the 300-mark for Spanish top-flight efforts in February and assisted in Barcelona retaining their championship, making up for their UEFA Champions League quarter-final exit.

©Getty Images

Thomas Müller (Bayern München & Germany)
Honours: Bundesliga, German Cup

Domestic league
Appearances: 31
Goals: 20
Assists: 5

UEFA Champions League
Appearances: 12
Goals: 8
Assists: 3

UEFA EURO 2016
Appearances: 6
Goals: 0
Assists: 1

Müller enjoyed his most productive Bundesliga campaign with 20 goals, his partnership with Robert Lewandowski yielding 50 in total as Bayern claimed a fourth straight title. The forward got eight more goals in the UEFA Champions League but could not prevent Bayern losing in the semis for the third year running. Then came a frustrating UEFA EURO 2016, Müller failing to find the net in six outings in France.

©Getty Images

Manuel Neuer (Bayern München & Germany)
Honours: Bundesliga, German Cup

Domestic league
Appearances: 34
Clean sheets: 20

UEFA Champions League
Appearances: 11
Clean sheets: 4

UEFA EURO 2016
Appearances: 6
Clean sheets: 4

Dependable as always, the keeper played every minute of Bayern's Bundesliga programme, helping clinch a fourth championship in a row – and third league and cup double in four seasons. Neuer sat out just one UEFA Champions League game as Bayern contested the semi-finals again, and registered shut-outs in his first four matches at UEFA EURO 2016 – yet was unable to help Germany beyond the last four.

©AFP/Getty Images

Pepe (Real Madrid & Portugal)
Honours: UEFA Champions League, UEFA EURO 2016

Domestic league
Appearances: 21
Goals: 1
Assists: 1

UEFA Champions League
Appearances: 9
Goals: 0
Assists: 0

UEFA EURO 2016
Appearances: 6
Goals: 0
Assists: 0

Pepe missed Madrid's 2014 UEFA Champions League final win through injury but was a central presence as they made it two European titles in three years – and 11 overall – by again getting the better of neighbours Atlético in Milan. More glory would follow at UEFA EURO 2016 in France, where Portugal sprang a surprise by landing their first major trophy with centre-back Pepe man of the match in the final.

©AFP/Getty Images

Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid & Portugal)
Honours: UEFA Champions League, UEFA EURO 2016

Domestic league
Appearances: 36
Goals: 35
Assists: 11

UEFA Champions League
Appearances: 12
Goals: 16
Assists: 4

UEFA EURO 2016
Appearances: 7
Goals: 3
Assists: 3

Leading marksman with 16 goals as Madrid picked up the European Cup for the 11th time, Ronaldo was slightly overshadowed by Luis Suárez's goalscoring form in Spain – yet was ever the master on the biggest stage. He capped the season by spearheading Portugal's UEFA EURO 2016 success, despite limping out of the Saint-Denis final midway through the first half.

©AFP/Getty Images

Luis Suárez (Barcelona & Uruguay)
Honours: Liga, Copa del Rey, UEFA Super Cup

Domestic league
Appearances: 35
Goals: 40
Assists: 16

UEFA Champions League
Appearances: 9
Goals: 8
Assists: 3

The Uruguayan international's second campaign with Barcelona brought an even more impressive return than his first. His 40-goal Liga haul was the 29-year-old's highest domestic tally for a single season, sufficing to end Messi and Ronaldo's six-term duopoly of the Pichichi scorers prize. Of course, it also helped fire Barça to the championship.

Last updated: 02/08/16 18.44CET

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