KIEV, UKRAINE - JULY 01: Fernando Torres of Spain is tackled by Andrea Barzagli of Italy during the UEFA EURO 2012 final match between Spain and Italy at the Olympic Stadium on July 1, 2012 in Kiev, Ukraine. (Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images)
Last season UEFA renamed the "European Footballer of the Year" award to the Best Player in Europe. To nobody's surprise, Lional Messi won. Today UEFA announced the 32 players eligible for this season's honor, and 4 of them were from the Champions League winning Chelsea side. Those 4? Petr Cech, Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba, and FERNANDO TORRES!!! That's right...UEFA feels that Fernando Torres is 1 of the 32 most deserving players in Europe to be nominated as their best player.
These types of awards don't often mean much anyway, but this just goes to show that actual performance means little in comparison to name recognition when UEFA starts passing out silverware. I can see reasonable arguments being made that both Petr Cech and Didier Drogba deserved consideration for that list, but the fact that the likes of Juan Mata and Ramires have been left off for Frank Lampard and Fernando [fun]ing Torres is just a joke. I suppose it really doesn't matter anyway, as Lionel Messi's name is certainly already engraved on the award. The UEFA Best Player in Europe shortlist...What. A. Joke.