Gareth Bale and Robin van Persie have been included in the 10-man shortlist for 2012/13 UEFA Best Player in Europe Award.
Born out of the desire to recreate the European Footballer of the Year Award (also known as Ballon d’Or) after it was merged with the FIFA World Player of the Year Award in 2010, Lionel Messi won the inaugural edition, while his Barcelona teammate Andres Iniesta claimed last year award.
For a third time running, there is not a single player from world and European champions Spain shortlisted in the current list as four of the treble-winning Bayern Munich team have been included in Thomas Muller, Franck Ribery, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Arjen Robben.
Robert Lewandowski completed the five Germany-based players shortlisted. Others are Paris St. Germain’s Zlatan Ibrahimovich, Real Madrid, Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
The award is voted by a jury of journalists from each of UEFA’s member associations. The ten will be trimmed down to three candidates in a second vote. The winner will be announced in Monaco on Thursday 29 August during the UEFA Champions League group stage draw.