Real Madrid duo Karim Benzema and Thibaut Courtois lead the list of nominees for the UEFA gong with City playmaker Kevin de Bruyne.
Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema - the favourite to lift the Ballon d’Or - Thibaut Courtois and Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne are in the running for UEFA’s 2021-22 men’s player of the year award after topping a 15-player shortlist, European soccer’s governing body said on Friday. The Madrid due led Carlo Ancelotti’s side to the Liga and Champions League double last season while Belgium playmaker and two-time PFA Players’ Player of the Year De Bruyne helped City to the Premier League title.
The winner will be announced with the UEFA men’s coach of the year and women’s player and coach of the year at the 2022-23 Champions League group stage draw in Istanbul on 25 August.
Benzema considered favourite for the Ballon d’Or
Benzema and Courtois helped Real seal a record 14th European title last season while De Bruyne guided City to the Premier League title -- his fourth crown in seven seasons at the club.
Among other nominees for the award are Barcelona’s Robert Lewandowski, Real’s Luka Modric and Bayern Munich’s Sadio Mané.
Real’s Carlo Ancelotti, City’s Pep Guardiola and Liverpool’s Jürgen Klopp were among the nominees for the male coach of the year. UEFA will name nominees for the women’s awards next week.