Unknown Welshman up for UEFA player of the year award

A relatively unknown semi-pro from the Welsh Premier League has been named as one of the best 32 players in Europe by UEFA.

Eurosport

Leslie Davies of Bangor City will go up against the likes of Lionel Messi, Christiano Ronaldo and Sergio Augero for the 2011/12 UEFA Best Player in Europe Award after being named on the 32-man longlist.

UEFA said that the award is: "born out of an initiative by UEFA President Michel Platini and intends to revive the spirit of the old European Footballer of the Year honour."

Messi won the inaugural award in 2011.

Davies is the shock inclusion on the longlist though. The 27-year-old forward, affectionately known as 'The Truck" by supporters scored 16 goals in 31 appearances for Bangor last season but does not even have a Wikipedia page.

He has represented Wales at U21 level but has never played outside his country with his former clubs including Caernarfon Town and CPD Porthmadog.

It is likely that cheeky Welsh journalists secured his nomination.

UEFA explains the voting process as thus: "A jury of journalists from each of UEFA's 53 member associations has provided a list of their best-ranked players. The players are ordered from one to five, with the first receiving five points, the second four points and so on.

"On 14 August, UEFA.com will reveal the three players with the most points overall from the first round of voting. They will then proceed to the live vote in Monaco when the same journalists will use an electronic system to determine the winner from the three candidates."

The 32-player long list is as follows (in alphabetical order):

Sergio Agüero (ARG) – Manchester City

Xabi Alonso (ESP) – Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli (ITA) – Manchester City

Jakub Błaszczykowski (POL) – Borussia Dortmund

Gianluigi Buffon (ITA) – Juventus

Iker Casillas (ESP) – Real Madrid

Petr Cech (CZE) – Chelsea

Fabio Coentrao (POR) – Real Madrid

Leslie Davies (WAL) – Bangor City

Didier Drogba (CIV) – Chelsea (now at Shanghai Shenhua)

Cesc Fabregas (ESP) – Barcelona

Falcao (COL) – Atletico Madrid

Joe Hart (ENG) – Manchester City

Zlatan Ibrahimović (SWE) – AC Milan

Andres Iniesta (ESP) – Barcelona

Shinji Kagawa (JPN) – Borussia Dortmund (now at Manchester United)

Vincent Kompany (BEL) – Manchester City

Frank Lampard (ENG) – Chelsea

Lionel Messi (ARG) – Barcelona

Luka Modric (CRO) – Tottenham Hotspur

Mesut Ozil (GER) – Real Madrid

Pepe (POR) – Real Madrid

Andrea Pirlo (ITA) – Juventus

Sergio Ramos (ESP) – Real Madrid

Raul (ESP) – Schalke 04 (now at al-Sadd Sports Club)

Cristiano Ronaldo (POR) – Real Madrid

Wayne Rooney (ENG) – Manchester United

David Silva (ESP) – Manchester City

Fernando Torres (ESP) – Chelsea

Yaya Touré (CIV) – Manchester City

Robin van Persie (NED) – Arsenal

Xavi Hernández (ESP) – Barcelona

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