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UEFA Player of the Year award up for grabs as Salah, Ronaldo and Modric race for glory
Published in Ahram Online on 30 - 08 - 2018

Egyptian star winger Mohamed Salah is one step away from achieving glory as he competes alongside football stars Cristiano Ronaldo and Luka Modric for the UEFA Player of the Year award that will be announced Thursday night.
On 20 August, the Liverpool winger Salah, Portugal and Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo, and Real Madrid's Croatian midfielder Luka Modric were included in a three-man shortlist to be named the best player in Europe for last season.
The winner will be announced during the Champion's League group stage draw in Monaco.
Nominees' selection
According to UEFA's official website, the award recognizes the best players, irrespective of nationality, playing for a club within the territory of a UEFA member association during the past season. Players are judged on their performances in all competitions – domestic, continental and international.
The shortlist of the three players was selected by a jury comprised of the 80 coaches of the clubs that participated in the group stages of the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League (32) and UEFA Europa League (48), along with 55 journalists selected by the European Sports Media (ESM) group, representing each of UEFA's member associations.
Hot race for the award
Following an incredible debut last season at Liverpool, the former Chelsea and Roma Player, Salah, snatched a well-deserved place among the nominees.
Salah, 26, who played the best football season ever played by an Egyptian, scored 44 goals in all competitions as Liverpool reached the Champions League final and finished fourth in the Premier League.
He finished as the elite Premier League's top scorer with 32 goals - a record tally in a 38-game top flight campaign.
He didn't look fully fit for Egypt at the World Cup finals in Russia, having just recovered from a shoulder injury he picked up in the UEFA Champions League final in late May, but he still scored two goals in two appearances against Russia and Saudi Arabia. Egypt was eliminated from the first round of the prestigious tournament after appearing there for the first time since 1990.
Salah's extraordinary season also saw him win the Premier League's best player award by both the Professional Footballers' Association and the Football Writers' Association, along with the Premier League's Golden Boot award.
The 32-year old FIFA Golden Ball winner Modric is another strong competitor for tonight's award after winning the Champion's League title with Real Madrid and also for guiding Croatia to the World Cup finals where they lost to France.
Despite scoring just one goal in both the Champions league and the Spanish league, Modric was instrumental in Real's season, helping them to victory in both the UEFA Super Cup and Spanish Super Cup titles.
Despite his recent move from Champion's League title-holders Real Madrid to Italian giant Juventus, last season's UEFA Player of the Year award winner Ronaldo is eager to retain his title.
Backed with the same trophies with Real Madrid, the UEFA Champions League's all-time top marksman Ronaldo, 33, enters tonight's race with other advantages.
Besides scoring 15 goals in the champions league season and other 26 in Spain's La Liga, veteran Ronaldo became the only player in the Champions League history to register in 11 straight games and also the only player to have won the title five times.
UEFA's other award shortlists:
Goalkeeper of the Season: Alisson Becker, Gianluigi Buffon, Keylor Navas
Defender of the Season: Marcelo, Sergio Ramos, Raphaël Varane
Midfielder of the Season: Kevin De Bruyne, Toni Kroos, Luka Modrić
Forward of the Season: Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Mohamed Salah
Women's Player of the Year: Pernille Harder, Ada Hegerberg, Amandine Henry
Europa League Player of the Season: Diego Godín, Antoine Griezmann, Dimitri Payet
(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

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