FC Bayern München forward Franck Ribéry has crowned a memorable 2012/13 season by collecting the UEFA Best Player in Europe Award at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco, accoridng to UEFA’s official website.
Ribéry received the 2012/13 award from UEFA President Michel Platini after being chosen ahead of FC Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Real Madrid CF’s Cristiano Ronaldo in a live vote by journalists who had to select, via an electronic voting system, their favourite from a world-class three-man short list.
Ribéry was joined on the stage at the Grimaldi Forum by Messi in a special ceremony that followed the UEFA Champions League group stage draw. The France international is the third player to win this award after Andrés Iniesta (2011/12) and Messi himself (2010/11), and he said: “It’s always nice to win this trophy; it’s a special moment for me to be here this evening. I want to thank all my team-mates and the directors at Bayern, and the supporters. We’ve had a fantastic year, and a big hello to all my family, my children and my wife.”
Reflecting on a memorable campaign with treble-winning Bayern, who beat Borussia Dortmund to win the UEFA Champions League final at Wembley on top of triumphs in the Bundesliga and German Cup, the 30-year-old added: “It was an extraordinary year for us, we’d wanted that trophy for so long and to play at Wembley was fantastic. I think Bayern deserved to win the cup after such a long time.”
The trio of Messi, Ribéry and Ronaldo had formed the shortlist after their selection by a poll of journalists from each of UEFA’s member national associations. Fifty-two of the 53 journalists chosen to participate in today’s by the European Sports Media association were present, with the vote from the journalist representing Lithuania cast by email to the independent auditors, Ernst & Young.