BERNE — Bayern Munich winger Franck Ribery joined Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi when the final three contenders for the 2012/13 Uefa Best Player in Europe award were named on Tuesday.
The Frenchman, who played a major role in Bayern’s Champions League-winning season, is the first player from a club other than Barcelona and Real Madrid to make the final three since the award was established by European soccer’s ruling body in 2011.
Argentina’s Lionel Messi won the inaugural award followed by Spaniard Andres Iniesta, his Barcelona teammate, last year.
Messi and Real Madrid and Portugal forward Ronaldo have made the last three in each of the two previous years.
Three of Ribery’s teammates at treble-winning Bayern — Thomas Mueller, Arjen Robben and Bastian Schweinsteiger — had made the shortlist of 10 players announced last month.
The winner will be decided by a jury of journalists from each of Uefa’s member associations in a live poll on August 29 at the Champions League group stage draw in Monaco.