UEFA, Europe’s football governing body, has announced the 10 players who got the most votes from last year’s Champions League and Europa League managers and 55 journalists –one from each member nation.
Monaco striker, 18-year-old Kylian Mbappe, has come in at number eight.
The top three’s final order will be revealed on Thursday, August 24, when the Champions League group stage draw takes place in Monaco. Players who represented Juventus, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Monaco, Bayern Munich and Manchester United all made it into the top ten.
Mbappe, who reportedly wants to play with Paris Saint-Germain, is the only Monaco player to be placed in UEFA’s top 10.
Meanwhile, AS Monaco coach Leonardo Jardim defended his decision to bench the teen superstar in the Ligue 1 Dijon match on Sunday, which Monaco went on to win 4-1.
“We never punish our players. That is not the right word. ‘Protected’ is a better word. When so many things are happening around an 18-year-old kid, it is our responsibility to protect him,” Jardim said.
“That means me, Vadim [Vasilyev, the vice-president] and the sporting director [Antonio Cordon]. It is always to protect the squad, the player and the club.”
The Ligue 1 Champion’s coach, who has extended his contract until 2020, added, “Kylian is not at 100 percent. He is not in great form. But that is to be expected of a kid who is just 18…”
Whether Mbappe, to whom Real Madrid are allegedly willing to offer a €180 million contract, will be left again out again Friday when Monaco play Metz away, is yet to be confirmed.