Lionel Messi made the three-man waitlist announced on Thursday August 17 for the UEFA award as the best player in Europe last season.
The World Cup-winning skipper of Argentina, who has passed on Europe to play for Inter Miami CF, is facing Manchester City partners Kevin De Bruyne and Erling Haaland.
Messi won the UEFA award two times in its 12-year history, both at Barcelona when they were European champions. Man City won the Premier League championship last season.
Pep Guardiola is the number one for the men’s coaching award in the wake of driving Man City to the UEFA Champions League final, Premier League and FA Cup titles.
Also nominated were Simone Inzaghi of Inter Milan, who led his team to the Champions League final, and Luciano Spalletti, who drove Napoli to the Italian league title.
The winners will be announced at the Champions League draw on August 31 in Monaco.
The shortlists for the women’s player and coaching awards will be announced next week after the Women’s World Cup, UEFA said. England will face Spain on Sunday in the final in Australia.
Kylian Mbappé, Messi’s former partner at PSG, was 6th in the player voting by Europe-based coaches and journalists in spite of his team leading eight goals at this year’s World Cup, including three in the final against Argentina.
Positioned above Mbappé were Man City midfielders Ilkay Gündogan and Rodri, whose goals decided the Champions League final.
The only Inter player getting votes was Marcelo Brozovic in eighth spot. The Croatia midfielder has since moved to the Saudi league.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar, and other people who have moved to Saudi Arabia, got no votes from the UEFA board, which included coaches from clubs that played in the group stages of the three European competitions.
Roberto De Zerbi was fourth in the coaching vote in spite of his Brighton team not playing in an European competition. Brighton will make a big appearance one month from now in the UEFA Europa league subsequent to completing 6th in the Premier League.
Franck Haise, who led Lens to second place in the French league, and David Moyes of Europa League Conference champions West Ham United were among 10 coaches who got some votes.