Roberto Firmino, Javier Mascherano and Luis Suarez have been included on UEFA’s list of the best players in Europe over the past twelve months, with the latter among three finalists for the overall award.
Firmino – whose performances for German club Hoffenheim last season inspired the Reds to pay £29m for his services this summer (via BBC Sport) – was ranked in a share of 28th place, out of 35 possible candidates.
Mascherano, who left Anfield for Barcelona in 2010, was joint 23rd and Suarez, who also swapped Merseyside for the La Liga giants last summer, has made the final shortlist alongside teammate Lionel Messi and Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo.
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According to the rules, journalists from each of UEFA’s 54 member associations provided a list of their five best-ranked players, with the first receiving five points, the second four, and so on. The ten players with the most points advanced to the second vote, which determined the three finalists. The winner will be announced later this month.
Other than Firmino, only three Premier League players were included. Chelsea’s Eden Hazard finished sixth, while Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal) and Nemanja Matic (Chelsea) also made the complete list – which you can see in full below.
Congratulations to all three players with connections to Liverpool, especially Firmino, who we hope can recreate such performances in a red shirt over the months and years to come.
Losing finalists in order of rank:
4 Gianluigi Buffon (Italy – Juventus)
5 Neymar (Brazil – Barcelona)
6 Eden Hazard (Belgium – Chelsea)
7 Andrea Pirlo (Italy – Juventus)
8 Arturo Vidal (Chile – Juventus, now Bayern München)
9 Carlos Tévez (Argentina – Juventus, now Boca Juniors)
10 Paul Pogba (France – Juventus)
11 Arjen Robben (NED – Bayern München)
12 Manuel Neuer ( GER – Bayern München)
13 Carlos Bacca (COL – Sevilla, now AC Milan)
14= Andrés Iniesta (ESP – Barcelona)
14= Álvaro Morata (ESP – Juventus)
14= Thomas Müller (GER – Bayern München)
17 Kevin De Bruyne (BEL – Wolfsburg)
18 Zlatan Ibrahimović (SWE – Paris Saint-Germain)
19= Gareth Bale (WAL – Real Madrid)
19= André-Pierre Gignac (FRA – Olympique Marseille, now Tigres UNAL)
21= Robert Lewandowski (POL – Bayern München)
21= Ivan Rakitić (CRO – Barcelona)
23= Jérôme Boateng (GER – Bayern München)
23= Xavi Hernández (ESP – Barcelona, now al-Sadd SC)
23= Jackson Martínez (COL – FC Porto, now Atlético Madrid)
23= Javier Mascherano (ARG – Barcelona)
23= Alexis Sánchez (CHI – Arsenal)
28= Giorgio Chiellini (ITA – Juventus)
28= Roberto Firmino (BRA – TSG Hoffenheim, now Liverpool)
28= Nemanja Matić (SRB – Chelsea)
28= Arkadiusz Milik (POL – Ajax)
28= Nicolás Otamendi (ARG – Valencia)
28= Sergio Ramos (ESP – Real Madrid)
28= Marc-André ter Stegen (GER – Barcelona)
28= Arda Turan (TUR – Atlético Madrid, now Barcelona)
Read More: Roberto Firmino named Europe’s 28th best player – two ex Liverpool stars also feature highly