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UEFA Men's Player of the Year nominee: the case for Ronaldo

UEFA.com checks out 2018/19 UEFA Men's Player of the Year award contender Cristiano Ronaldo.

Cristiano Ronaldo is nominated for the UEFA Men's Player of the Year award
Cristiano Ronaldo is nominated for the UEFA Men's Player of the Year award ©UEFA.com

Cristiano Ronaldo is on the three-man shortlist for the 2018/19 UEFA Men's Player of the Year award. UEFA.com pores over his outstanding season.

Season in numbers

Achievements: UEFA Nations League winner, UEFA Nations League Finals top goalscorer, Serie A winner, Italian Super Cup winner, Ballon d'Or runner-up.

UEFA Champions League
Appearances: 9
Goals: 6
Assists: 2

UEFA Men's Player of the Year nominee: Cristiano Ronaldo

Domestic league
Appearances: 31
Goals: 21
Assists: 8

UEFA.com reporter's view: Paolo Menicucci

It is no secret that Juventus signed Ronaldo partly to aid their quest for a first UEFA Champions League title since 1996. After a taxing group stage, their star forward moved up the gears in the knockouts. The Bianconeri had a mountain to climb after losing 2-0 at Atlético in their round of 16 first leg, but it was no problem for Ronaldo, whose second leg hat-trick against one of the best defensive sides in the world proved that nothing is beyond him. He also struck in both legs of the quarter-final against Ajax, though it was not enough to reach the last four.

Top three moments

1. Following a summer move from Real Madrid to Juventus, Ronaldo scored twice against Sassuolo in September to reach 400 league goals in his career.

2. With Juventus 2-0 down against Atlético after their UEFA Champions League round of 16 opener, they needed a miracle in the Turin return. Ronaldo provided it, courtesy of a header in each half and a nerveless late penalty.

The three-man shortlist

3. Switzerland were looking the likely winners at 1-1 in their UEFA Nations League semi-final against Portugal. Two unerring right-footed finishes in the final few minutes and Ronaldo had completed a hat-trick to turn the game.

What they say

"In terms of adjectives to describe Ronaldo's game, I've used many. I was his coach in 2003 and I could see where he'd go. He's a genius. There are genius paintings and sculptures and he's a football genius!"
Fernando Santos, Portugal coach

"If the best in the world, Cristiano Ronaldo, arrives it means that your level has grown. When he arrived, I was not very happy because I was still an opponent!"
Leonardo Bonucci, Juventus defender (having rejoined shortly after Ronaldo's arrival)

"Ronaldo is the future of Juventus. He is an extraordinary player who has had a great season and he'll have a great one next year."
Massimiliano Allegri, former Juventus coach