Messi did, however, make the Top 10 list for the award, which is voted on by European journalists, but came in fifth. He fell behind the Top 3, including La Liga rivals Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, both of Real Madrid, and Antoinne Griezmann of Atletico Madrid, as well as Barcelona teammate Luis Suarez, who came in fourth.
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Suarez and Messi are coming off a near-perfect season that saw Barcelona win both the La Liga and Spanish Cup titles. The duo, along with teammate Neymar, who astonishingly failed to make even the Top 10 list this year, tallied the most goals of any front three last season with 127 goals in their La Liga and Champions League matches. In comparison, Real Madrid’s front three, composed of Ronaldo, Bale and Karim Benzema, tallied 98.
In Real Madrid’s defense, it did come home with the Champions Cup title this year, while Barcelona failed to advance out of the quarterfinals.
With that in mind, Ronaldo, who also led Portugal to its first-ever win at the European Championships this summer, is the most likely player to win the award. UEFA will make the announcement Aug. 25 during the draw for this season’s Champions League tournament.