A jury of 53 sports journalists representing each of the UEFA member associations whittled down the 2011/12 long list to Andrés Iniesta, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. The final three featured in a deciding vote in Monaco on Thursday 30 August during the UEFA Champions League group stage draw.
Social media voting
This graphic demonstrates the social media voting since 8 August. Votes are measured in three ways: the sum of 'Likes' and 'Tweets', only 'Likes', and only 'Tweets'. The players' popularity on both social networks will be updated every hour.
These figures are taken directly from Facebook and Twitter with the number of 'Likes' and 'Tweets' illustrated above the nominee thumbnail.
The Twitter count
Using #iniesta #messi #cristiano we record the number of times each hashtag is used every day. The popularity of each player is demonstrated by a circle; the bigger the circle, the more popular the player.
These figures are taken directly from appropriate hashtags on Twitter.
Google search popularity
Using information from the Google search volume index we have mapped out a popularity graph relating to how many searches have been done for each player. The news reference volume graph shows you the number of times each player has appeared in Google news stories.
The information comes from Google trends.