Benzema, Courtois, De Bruyne shortlisted for UEFA Men's Player of Year award

Real Madrids Karim Benzema celebrates at the final whistle during the UEFA Champions League final match between Liverpool FC and Real Madrid at Stade de France on May 28, 2022 in Paris, France.

Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema and Thibaut Courtois, and Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne are the final three nominees for the 2021-22 UEFA Men’s Player of the Year award, the governing body of European football said on Friday.

“The winner will be named – along with the UEFA Men’s Coach of the Year and Women’s Player and Coach of the Year – during the 2022/23 UEFA Champions League group stage draw ceremony in Istanbul on Thursday 25 August,” UEFA said in a statement.

Skipper Benzema, 34, led the Spanish club to their record 14th Champions League title last season, scoring 15 goals.

He was named the 2021-22 Champions League Player of the Season for his efforts.

The French forward has been a Real Madrid player since his move from Olympique Lyon in 2009, and won five Champions League titles as the Whites’ member.

Courtois, 30, was the player of the match in the Champions League final in which Real Madrid beat Liverpool 1-0 at the Saint-Denis’ Stade de France in May.

The Belgian goalkeeper made many critical saves in the final, helping Real Madrid become champions.

In April, both Benzema and Courtois won the 2022 Spanish La Liga with Real Madrid.

Manchester City’s Belgian midfielder De Bruyne helped the English team reach the Champions League semifinals last season, but they were eliminated by Real Madrid.

The 31-year-old was named the English Premier League Player of the Season after guiding Man City to the domestic title in May.

De Bruyne is a Man City regular since 2015.

During his time in Manchester, he secured four Premier League championships.

Meanwhile, UEFA Men’s Coach of the Year nominees are Carlo Ancelotti (Real Madrid), Josep Guardiola (Manchester City), and Jurgen Klopp (Liverpool).

Last year Italian midfielder Jorginho won the 2020-21 UEFA Men’s Player of the Year award as the 30-year-old claimed the Champions League with Chelsea, and won the UEFA EURO 2020 title with the Italian national team.

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