(Reuters) – Four Bayern Munich players – Thomas Mueller, Franck Ribery, Arjen Robben and Bastian Schweinsteiger – were named on a 10-man shortlist for the 2012/13 UEFA Best Player in Europe award on Tuesday.
Unlike last year, when the final three contenders came from Barcelona or Real Madrid, only two of the 10 were drawn from the Spanish clubs – Barca’s 2011 winner Lionel Messi and Real’s Cristiano Ronaldo.
Tottenham Hotspur’s Gareth Bale was the only British player nominated, with the Premier League also represented by Manchester United’s Robin van Persie.
Robert Lewandowski, whose Borussia Dortmund side lost out to Bayern in the Champions League final at London’s Wembley Stadium, was named as was Paris Saint-Germain’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
The award, voted for by a jury of journalists from each of UEFA’s member associations, was established in 2011 and was won last year by Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta.
The top 10 players will be whittled down to three candidates in a second vote, with the ultimate winner decided in a live poll on August 29 during the Champions League group stage draw in Monaco.
UEFA said in a statement that it had also launched a Best Women’s Player in Europe award, with the first winner to be unveiled on September 5.