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Ribery wins UEFA Best Player in Europe award

29 August 2013 19:26

Bayern Munich winger Franck Ribery has been named UEFA's Best Player in Europe for the 2012-13 season

The Frenchman, who was nominated alongside Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo and four-time Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi, was named the victor at the UEFA Champions League draw on Thursday.

"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," he said.

"It's recognition for the work that you have done well well, and that people are proud and have faith in what you do. And that is really nice, and very important for a player.

"It was an extraordinary year for us, we'd wanted that (Champions League) trophy for so long and to play at Wembley was fantastic. I think Bayern deserved to win the cup after such a long time."

Ribery played a prominent role in Bayern's unprecedented treble-winning campaign under Jupp Heynckes, as they lifted the Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal and Champions League titles.

He scored 11 goals in 43 appearances for the German club throughout the campaign, helping them eliminate Messi's Barca at the semi-final stage of Europe's premier cup competition in the process.

And his performances have now been rewarded with recognition ahead of two of football's leading lights in a prize voted for by 53 European sports journalists.

Messi won the gong the first time it was awarded, but was pushed into second by Barca team-mate Andres Iniesta in 2011-12.

And the Argentine forward also finished runner-up in this year's edition, with Ronaldo coming in third for the third consecutive time.

Ribery's Bayern colleagues Arjen Robben, Thomas Muller and Bastian Schweinsteiger finished fourth, sixth and seventh respectively, with Borussia Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski in fifth.

Gareth Bale, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Robin van Persie rounded out the top ten.

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