Bayern Munich attacker Franck Ribery has been shortlisted by UEFA for its Best Player in Europe award for the 2012/13 season. He is joined by Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo and previous winner Lionel Messi in the running for the prestigious award. The award will be handed out on August 29 in Monaco following vote by a panel of journalists representing each of Europe’s biggest publications.
In 2011, UEFA president Michel Platini in a combined effort with European Sports Media created the award, replacing the old European Club Footballer of the Year award and in the spirit of the old European Footballer of the Year award, to crown European football’s best performer each season. Players are judged by their performances not only in Europe with their clubs but also domestically and for the national team and then ranked and voted on by a panel of journalists from all UEFA member countries.
This will be the third season UEFA hands out its new award with Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta being the previous winners. Only one Bundesliga player has previously won this award, that being Stefan Effenberg back in 2001 when Bayern Munich last lifted the Champions League trophy. This is also the first time a Bayern Munich player has made the shortlist or top ten in the voting since the award was revamped.
The rest of the votes went as follows:
4. Arjen Robben (NED) – FC Bayern München (57 points)
5. Robert Lewandowski (POL) – Borussia Dortmund (39)
6. Thomas Müller (GER) – FC Bayern München (38)
7. Bastian Schweinsteiger (GER) – FC Bayern München (32)
8. Gareth Bale (WAL) – Tottenham Hotspur FC (24)
9. Zlatan Ibrahimović (SWE) – Paris Saint-Germain FC (14)
10. Robin van Persie (NED) – Manchester United FC (10)
Ribery, Ronaldo and Messi all came of fantastic individual seasons with Ribery leading the race in terms of trophies following Bayern’s incredible treble-winning campaign but both Ronaldo and Messi broke several individual records in their campaigns. The French winger had arguably his best season with the Bavarian clubs and has even admitted to being deserving of winning such an accolade. Ribery was at the heart of a Bayern side that set 30 records in the Bundesliga and carried them to their fifth overall European Cup. The Frenchman was involved in 40 goals in all competitions for his club.
Ribery faces stiff competition in Messi and Ronaldo. Messi and Barcelona wrestled back the La Liga crown from Real Madrid this past season in record-breaking fashion, scoring an incredible 64 goals in all competitions along the way. Ronaldo meanwhile, while not winning any silverware, was the top scorer in the Champions League with 12 goals in 12 games and 59 in all competitions.
The winner will be announced on August 29 in Monaco following a live vote.
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