Real Madrid players Karim Benzema and Thibaut Courtois and Manchester City midfielder Kevin de Bruyne are in the running for the 2021-22 UEFA Player of the Year award after topping a 15-player shortlist. European soccer’s governing body said on Friday.
The winner will be announced along with the UEFA Men’s Coach of the Year and the UEFA Women’s Player and Coach of the Year at the 2022-23 Champions League group stage draw to be held in Istanbul on 25 August.
Benzema and Courtois helped Madrid seal a 14th European title last season, while De Bruyne guided City to the Premier League title, his fourth crown in seven seasons at the club.
Other candidates for the award are Robert Lewandowski, from Barcelona, Luka Modrić, from Real Madrid, and Sadio Mané, from Bayern Munich.
Carlo Ancelotti, from Real Madrid, Pep Guardiola, from City, and Jürgen Klopp, from Liverpool, are some of the candidates for manager of the year. UEFA will name the nominees for the women’s awards next week.