Semi-pro Welshman nominated for UEFA Player of the Season | inside World Soccer

A relatively unknown semi-pro footballer from the Welsh Premier League has been named on the list of players nominated for UEFA's best player in Europe award.

Bangor City winger Les Davies is on a list of players vying to be named as UEFA's best player
Bangor City winger Les Davies is on a list of players vying to be named as UEFA's best player

Photo: Matthew Ashton/AMA/NTB Scanpix

The 32-player longlist for the 2011/12 award was announced on Monday night, and last year winner Lionel Messi makes the cut once again, alongside Xavi, Andrés Iniesta and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Joining these superstars, however, is Les Davies, a 28-year-old winger from semi-professional Welsh Premier League side Bangor City. Yep, we hadn't heard of him either.

So how did a player you've never heard make the cut for such a prestigious award?

At first glance it appears to be a massive wind-up by the European journalists, but it was actually all about the voting procedure.

To compile the 32-man shortlist, UEFA asked journalists from all 53 members of the footballing body to list their favourite players from one to five and those with the most points are listed here.

And a nomination, believed to be from a Welsh journalist who voted, was enough to earn Davies a spot on the shortlist.

It's puzzling that a single vote from one writer has warranted the nomination of a player who does not even have a Wikipedia page.

Davies himself appeared confused by the decision when speaking to Sky Sports News: "I'm flattered and honoured to be on such a list. I can't get my head round what's happened in the last few days.'

"To be on the list with those people is unbelievable. Just to be nominated in the 32 is fantastic. I'll take that - I don't think I've got much of a chance to make the top three!"

Here's a couple of pieces of footage of Davies in action for Bangor.





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