Benzema, Courtois and De Bruyne make UEFA's shortlist

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Two Real Madrid teammates made the three-man shortlist announced Friday for the UEFA Player of the Year award for last season.

The Spanish side was represented by Karim Benzema and goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.

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

Benzema, the main architect of Real's 14th Champions League triumph and the competition's top scorer (15), is the favourite to succeed Italy's Jorginho in the award. In 2021/2022, the Frenchman scored 44 goals in 46 games for Madrid, also winning the Spanish league.

In the coaching ranks, Real Madrid's Carlo Ancelotti, Liverpool's Jurgen Klopp and Manchester City's Pep Guardiola will be looking to succeed Germany's Thomas Tuchel.

The award, which recognises the continent's best player regardless of nationality, will be presented at the Champions League group stage draw on 25 August.

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