Tottenham Hotspur forward Gareth Bale finds himself in a very select group as he is part of the 10-man shortlist for the 2012/13 UEFA Best Player in Europe Award.
Bale was brilliant for Spurs last season, scoring 21 goals in 33 Premier League appearances on his way to being named the Barclays Player of the Season. What makes Bale’s nomination even more impressive, is that he is the only player who did not win anything last season!
Van Persie also had a campaign to remember at Old Trafford following his move from Arsenal last summer. He scored 26 goals, winning the Barclays Golden Boot for the second year in a row, helping United claim the Barclays Premier League title for the 13th time.
Four members of Bayern Munich’s treble-winning side are on the shortlist, Thomas Muller, Franck Ribery, Arjen Robben and Bastian Schweinsteiger, alongside Borussia Dortmund’s UEFA Champions League finalist Robert Lewandowski.
Votes cast by a jury of journalists from each of UEFA’s member associations will determine the final top-three nominees, which will be announced on 6 August, with the winner being revealed at the 2013/14 UEFA Champions League group stage draw on 29 August.
Barcelona players have won this award the last two years, with Messi in 2011 and Iniesta in 2012. Despite regaining their La Liga title, it was a disappointing season for Barcelona and I don’t expect Messi to win this year.
The logical choice is a Bayern Munich player, they make it four of the 10, but could the vote get split between them allowing someone like Ibrahimovic to win?
2012/13 UEFA Best Player In Europe Shortlist
Gareth Bale (Tottenham Hotspur)
Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)
Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Paris Saint-Germain)
Robert Lewandowski (Borussia Dortmund)
Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich)
Franck Ribery (Bayern Munich)
Arjen Robben (Bayern Munich)
Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich)
Robin van Persie (Manchester United)