The UEFA Best Player in Europe Award was created in partnership with European Sports Media. It recognises the best player, irrespective of his nationality, playing for a club within the territory of a UEFA member association during the previous season.
Players were judged by their performances during the 2011/12 campaign in all competitions, both domestic and international, and at club and national team levels, by a jury of renowned sports journalists representing each of the UEFA national associations.
Each journalist provided a list of their five best-ranked players from one to five, with the first player receiving five points, the second four points and so on. All 32 players who received at least one vote featured on a long list of nominess published on Monday 16 July.
On 14 August, UEFA.com revealed the three players with the most points overall from the first round of voting who were shortlisted for the final round of voting.
That took place in Monaco on 30 August during the ceremony for the UEFA Champions League group stage draw, when the panel of journalists voted live, via an electronic system, to determine the winner from the shortlist of three.
The UEFA Best Player in Europe Award replaced the UEFA Club Footballer of the Year prize last claimed in 2010 by FC Internazionale Milano's Diego Milito. That award formed part of the UEFA Club Football Awards which also included prizes for best goalkeeper, defender, midfielder, forward and coach and had been presented in Monaco every August since 1998.
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