UEFA men’s player of the year shortlist has been released despite winning the PFA Players’ Player of the Year award at the end of last season
An initial shortlist of 15 players has been whittled down to just three with Kevin de Bruyne the Premier League’s only inclusion alongside Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema and Thibaut Courtois.
✨ NOMINEES: UEFA Men's Player of the Year 2021/22 ✨
?? Karim Benzema
?? Thibaut Courtois
?? Kevin De Bruyne
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) August 12, 2022
The starting 15 was selected by the UEFA technical study group based on players’ performances during the 21/22 season at both club and international level. Coaches and journalists were then asked to pick their top three players from the shortlist with a points system used to decide who would make the final cut.
Salah scored 23 Premier League goals last season on his way to lifting the golden boot award alongside Tottenham’s Son Heung-min.
The Egyptian scored a further eight goals in 11 Champions League appearances and guided Liverpool to FA and Carabao Cup glories, while also helping the Merseyside club reach the Champions League final.
In comparison, Belgium’s De Bruyne scored just 15 Premier League goals and only netted twice in Europe’s top cup competition as Manchester City were knocked out by Real Madrid in the semi-final.
Karim Benzema is favourite to lift the individual honour after his epic performances in the Champions League saw him awarded the player of the tournament as he helped Real Madrid to a 14th title.
The Frenchman also scored 27 league goals last season as Real Madrid won La Liga.
Salah has been vocal in the past about his determinedness to win individual accolades while also enjoying success with both club and country.
The 30-year-old wants to become only the second ever African after George Weah to win the famous Ballon D’Or and previously said in an interview with L’Equipe via France Football said: ‘I was shocked by my ranking in 2021.
‘For this year, the defeat against Real Madrid is a disadvantage, even if I played a good game in the final. But it doesn’t cancel out everything I’ve achieved for months.
Let’s wait for the vote. And if I’m not Ballon d’Or in 2022, I’ll do everything I can to be the next one.’