Champions League - Ronaldo joins Bayern duo on Best Player in Europe Award shortlist

UEFA has announced its shortlist for the Best Player in Europe Award with Cristiano Ronaldo, Arjen Robben and Manuel Neuer all in contention for the prize.

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Champions League - 'Best Player in Europe' to be named by UEFA
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Robben, Ronaldo, Neuer (Reuters)

The winner of the new award, now in its fourth year, will be announced during the Champions League group stage draw on August 28.

Neuer, the first goalkeeper to make the final three-man shortlist, won the German domestic double with Bayern Munich last season and also proved in irresistible form during Germany’s World Cup triumph.

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Bayern team-mate Arjen Robben scored three times in Brazil as Netherlands reached the semi-finals and also scored 21 times in club competition in one of his most devastating seasons yet.

However, despite his awful World Cup, Ronaldo is the odds-on favourite having scored a record 17 goals in Real Madrid’s Champions League-winning campaign.

Ronaldo is also the reigning Ballon d’Or winner – the award which was once designated for the European Footballer of the Year but has been amalgamated with FIFA’s World Player of the Year award.

UEFA’s Best Player in Europe Award sprung up following the change to the Ballon d’Or and has been awarded to Lionel Messi (2011), Andres Iniesta (2012) and Frank Ribery (2013).

Journalists will vote for the winner on August 28 in Monaco.

Bayern forward Thomas Mueller finished fourth in the award, with team-mate and Germany captain Philipp Lahm in fifth.

Messi, James Rodriguez, Luis Suarez, Angel Di Maria and Diego Costa made up the rest of the top 10.

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