Ronaldo, Kane, 4 others in PFA’s player of the year shortlist

Ronaldo jubilates

Cristiano Ronaldo has made the six-man shortlist for the PFA’s Men’s Player of the Year award – with league runners up Liverpool boasting three representatives.  

Manchester United suffered their worst-ever Premier League season, finishing down in sixth. 

An inclusion from Manchester United came as one surprise but there was another with champions Manchester City only winning a spot for one representative, Kevin De Bruyne.

Much was made about the impacts of Bernardo Silva and Rodri, but both failed to make the cut with Belgian superstar De Bruyne the only City player to make the final shortlist. 

De Bruyne, who won the award in 2020 and 2021, will be the favourite to reclaim the award after another stellar campaign from the 30-year-old midfielder. 

With 15 goals and eight assists, De Bruyne was once again central to the success of Pep Guardiola’s side en route to the domestic crown. 

While City may feel aggrieved at their lack of representation on the final list of six nominees, Liverpool discovered they covered 50 per cent, with Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Virgil van Dijk all up for the award. 

The award is selected by fellow professionals and Liverpool’s assault for a famous quadruple, eventually ending with two trophies rather than four, won the respect of many of their peers. 

It comes as no surprise that Salah is one of the frontrunners, having finished the 2021-22 season as the joint-highest goal scorer, as well as producing the most assists.

The Egyptian, who won the award in a stunning 2017-18 season, netted 22 league goals and added 13 assists.

Salah will face stiff competition from Van Dijk, who won the award in 2018-19, and Mane, who has yet to win this award.

For Mane, he has elevated his game to the point where heading into the UEFA Champions League final in Paris, the discourse around the Senegalese was that he is in serious Ballon d’Or contention. 

Domestically Mane finished the season with 16 league goals and four assists, coming up big in huge moments, such as netting the winner in a crucial trip to Aston Villa in the run-in.