Four players from FC Bayern München are on the ten-man shortlist for the 2012/13 UEFA Best Player in Europe Award.
Born out of an initiative of UEFA President Michel Platini, and intended to revive the spirit of the old European Footballer of the Year honour and run in partnership with the European Sports Media (ESM) group, the award will be handed out for the third time in Monaco on Thursday 29 August during the UEFA Champions League group stage draw.
As in previous years, the accolade is voted for by a jury composed of journalists from each of UEFA's member associations. Each journalist has provided a list of their five best-ranked players – the players are ordered from one to five, with the first receiving five points, the second four points and so on. The long list of 26 players can be found here.
The top ten players overall advance to a second vote by the jury to determine the three ultimate award contenders – to be revealed on UEFA.com on Tuesday 6 August. This trio then proceed to the live vote in Monaco at the end of August, when the same journalists will use an electronic system to determine the winner from the three anointed candidates.
Lionel Messi (2011) and his FC Barcelona team-mate Andrés Iniesta (2012) claimed the first two awards although only the Argentinian is in the running this time.
Messi is up against the Bayern quartet of Thomas Müller, Franck Ribéry, Arjen Robben and Bastian Schweinsteiger, all recognised for helping the Bavarian club win the UEFA Champions League final against a Borussia Dortmund side represented by striker Robert Lewandowski.
Four more attacking players – Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo, Zlatan Ibrahimović and Robin van Persie – complete the shortlist, which can be seen in alphabetical order below:
Gareth Bale (WAL) – Tottenham Hotspur FC
Cristiano Ronaldo (POR) – Real Madrid CF
Zlatan Ibrahimović (SWE) – Paris Saint-Germain FC
Robert Lewandowski (POL) – Borussia Dortmund
Lionel Messi (ARG) – FC Barcelona
Thomas Müller (GER) – FC Bayern München
Franck Ribéry (FRA) – FC Bayern München
Arjen Robben (NED) – FC Bayern München
Bastian Schweinsteiger (GER) – FC Bayern München
Robin van Persie (NED) – Manchester United FC
UEFA has also launched a Best Women's Player in Europe Award. Full details can be found here.
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