Benzema, Courtois, De Bruyne on shortlist for UEFA award

Real Madrid's Karim Benzema celebrates after scoring his side's third goal from penalty during the Champions League semi final, first leg soccer match between Manchester City and Real Madrid at the Etihad stadium in Manchester, England, Tuesday, April 26, 2022. (Dave Thompson/AP)

NYON, Switzerland (AP) — Two Real Madrid teammates made the three-man shortlist announced Friday for the UEFA player of the year award for last season, while no Liverpool player was included.

Champions League winner Madrid was represented by Karim Benzema, who scored a competition-best 15 goals, and goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, who was the standout in its 1-0 win over Liverpool in the final.

Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne, who plays with Courtois for Belgium, completed the list after a vote by coaches and selected journalists.

In the award for coaches, Madrid's Carlo Ancelotti is on the shortlist with Jurgen Klopp of Liverpool and Man City's Pep Guardiola.

The winners will be announced Aug. 25 in Istanbul at the draw for the group stage of this season's Champions League.

None of the player nominees has previously won the UEFA award, which was first given in 2011 to Lionel Messi. Last year's winner was Jorginho after he helped Italy and Chelsea to European titles.

UEFA said voting in the women's awards is ongoing and shortlists should be announced next week.

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