World player of the year and Barcelona's striker Lionel Messi and Real Madrid's star Cristiano Ronaldo have been pitted against each other for the second consecutive years for UEFA's Best Player in Europe award.
Messi is among the three finalist of the UEFA Best Player in Europe Award which was announced on Tuesday. He is being pitted against Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona teammate Andres Iniesta for the coveted award. However, Juventus' Andrea Pirlo and Barcelona's Xavi Hernandez have not made it to the final list.
The winner of the award will be announced on August 30 in Monaco, on the day the Champions League group stage draw is prepared. The winner of the award is decided by the European sports journalists by voting.
Messi beat Ronaldo and Xavi Hernandez to win the inaugural award last year. He got 39 votes while Xavi got 11 and Ronaldo managed to get only 3.
This year, it will be a close fight with all the three shortlisted players having given out good performances. With 50 goals to his credit in the last season, Messi was La Liga's top scorer. He also won a third Ballon d'Or title.
Ronaldo also played well in the session with only four goals lesser than Messi's total score. Moreover, his team Real Madrid won the La Liga title with a record of 32 wins and 121 goals in a single session.
Andres Iniesta is not far behind Messi and Ronaldo. The Barcelona midfielder was pivotal in his team's wins with accurate passes and occational strikes.