By CAITLIN MURRAY
UEFA’s shortlist for the Best Player in Europe includes some players who had excellent World Cups – and some who didn’t.
The list features three players from the World Cup-winning Germany side in Thomas Muller, Manuel Neuer and Philipp Lahm.
Lionel Messi is the only previous winner on the list, after carrying Argentina through the early rounds of the World Cup.
Also making the cut are Cristiano Ronaldo, who helped Real Madrid clinch the Champions League trophy but showed poorly in the World Cup, and Luis Suarez, who infamously ended his World Cup in disgrace following a third biting incident.
The final three nominees for the award will be named on Aug. 14, as determined by a jury of journalists.
An American lands on the shortlist for the women’s side. U.S. Women’s National Team forward Christen Press landed in the first cut for her breakout season with Sweden’s Tyreso FF, where she scored 25 goals in 26 appearances alongside teammate Marta.
Tyreso later lost in the Champions League final to VfL Wolfsburg and Press now plays with the Chicago Red Stars in the National Women’s Soccer League.
The short list also includes Spain’s Veronica Boquete, who plays for Portland Thorns FC in the NWSL.
Check out both lists after the jump:
• Diego Costa (Spain, Club Atlético de Madrid – now at Chelsea FC)
• Ángel Di María (Argentina, Real Madrid CF)
• James Rodríguez (Colombia, AS Monaco FC)
• Philipp Lahm (Germany, FC Bayern München)
• Lionel Messi (Argentina, FC Barcelona)
• Thomas Müller (Germany, FC Bayern München)
• Manuel Neuer (Germany, FC Bayern München)
• Arjen Robben (Netherlands, FC Bayern München)
• Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal, Real Madrid CF)
• Luis Suárez (Uruguay, Liverpool FC – now at FC Barcelona)
• Verónica Boquete (Spain, Tyresö FF – now at Portland Thorns FC)
• Nilla Fischer (Sweden, VfL Wolfsburg)
• Lena Goessling (Germany, VfL Wolfsburg)
• Nadine Kessler (Germany, VfL Wolfsburg)
• Lena Lotzen (Germany, FC Bayern München)
• Marta (Brazil, Tyresö FF)
• Martina Müller (Germany, VfL Wolfsburg)
• Alexandra Popp (Germany, VfL Wolfsburg)
• Christen Press (United States, Tyresö FF – now at Chicago Red Stars)
• Lotta Schelin (Sweden, Olympique Lyonnais)
• Caroline Seger (Sweden, Tyresö FF – now at Paris Saint-Germain)
What do think of these shortlists? Who deserves to win? Who shouldn’t have made the cut? Will their World Cup performances keep Ronaldo and Suarez out of the running? Think Press can represent for the U.S. and win?
Share your thoughts below.