Jorginho and Roberto Mancini could cap a golden year for Italy by landing UEFA honours after both were shortlisted for top awards on Thursday, though Manchester City duo Kevin De Bruyne and Pep Guardiola could spoil the Azzurri’s party.
Azzurri midfielder Jorginho won the Champions League with Chelsea and followed that by helping his country to Euro 2020 glory, under the leadership of coach Mancini.
Jorginho, 29, is joined on the three-man shortlist for UEFA Men’s Player of the Year by Chelsea team-mate N’Golo Kante, a standout in the Champions League final, and by City playmaker De Bruyne.
Kante played for France at Euro 2020 and De Bruyne featured for Belgium, but neither side made the progress many anticipated, with Les Bleus eliminated in the last 16 and the Red Devils bowing out to Italy in the quarter-finals.
The three players received the most votes from a panel consisting of the 24 head coaches at Euro 2020, the 80 coaches from the Champions League and Europa League group stages, and journalists from each of UEFA’s 55 member associations.
The Men’s Coach of the Year shortlist consists of the two coaches from the Champions League final, Chelsea’s Thomas Tuchel and City’s Guardiola, plus Italy boss Mancini.
It means there is no place for Gareth Southgate, who guided England to their first major men’s final since the 1966 World Cup. He finished seventh in voting, UEFA announced, behind Villarreal’s Europa League winning boss Unai Emery, Atletico Madrid’s Diego Simeone and former Inter coach Antonio Conte.
Like Guardiola, both Simeone and Conte led their club sides to domestic league title success.
NOMINEES: 2020/21 Men’s Player of the Year
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) August 19, 2021
The winner of each award will be announced at UEFA’s Champions League group stage draw on August 26 in Istanbul.
Barcelona had a clean sweep of the players shortlisted for the Women’s Player of the Year prize, following their Spanish league and cup and Champions League treble.
The Spanish duo of Jennifer Hermoso and Alexia Putellas were joined on the list by Dutch club-mate Lieke Martens.
UEFA’s women’s awards stem from votes from each of the coaches in the Champions League last 16 and the leading 12 coaches according to UEFA’s national team rankings, plus a pool of 20 journalists.
Former Barcelona boss Lluis Cortes is joined on that list by Chelsea’s Emma Hayes and Sweden coach Peter Gerhardsson.