2015/2016 UEFA Best Player in Europe Award winner is expected to be announced on Thursday. Real Madrid stars Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann are the final nominees after the trio received the most votes from journalists from each of UEFA’s 55 member associations.Gareth Bale averaged a goal every 92 minutes in La Liga and played vital role on Real Madrid’s route to Champions League glory. He got the assist for Sergio Ramos’ opening goal in the final against Atletico, and scored his penalty in the shootout despite suffering from cramp.
The 27-year-old inspired Wales to the semi-finals of a major tournament for the first time in their history. Bale scored three goals as Chris Coleman’s side topped their group at Euro 2016, and he earned widespread plaudits for his dazzling display in Wales’ famous 3-1 win over Belgium in the quarter-finals.
Antoine Griezmann produced another stellar campaign for Atletico Madrid, top scoring with 22 La Liga goals as they finished just three points behind champions Barcelona. The forward became a talisman and a leader for Diego Simeone’s side, adding seven goals in 13 games before Atletico were cruelly beaten in the Champions League final. His performances for France at Euro 2016 were even better. Griezmann scored twice as many goals (six) as any other player, and he won the tournament’s best player award as the hosts finished runners-up.
Cristiano Ronaldo enjoyed another spectacular year in 2015/16, surpassing the 50-goal mark for the sixth consecutive season with Real Madrid. He was the Champions League’s top scorer with a record-equalling 16 goals, and his decisive penalty clinched the trophy during the final in Milan. Ronaldo’s Euro 2016-winning exploits in France further boosted his prospects.
The 31-year-old scored three goals and claimed two assists for Fernando Santos’ side. International silverware filled the one remaining gap in his personal trophy cabinet, and he is the strong favourite for the 2016 Ballon d’Or.