Lionel Messi won the inaugural award in 2011
The UEFA Best Player in Europe Award is an association football award given to the footballer playing for a football club in Europe that is considered the best in the previous season.
According to UEFA, the award "recognizes the best player, irrespective of his nationality, playing for a football club within the territory of a UEFA member association during the previous season."
The shortlist of 10 nominees for 2013 Awards includes (in alphabetical order): Gareth Bale (WAL – Tottenham Hotspur FC), Cristiano Ronaldo (POR – Real Madrid CF), Zlatan Ibrahimović (SWE – Paris Saint-Germain), Robert Lewandowski (POL – Borussia Dortmund), Lionel Messi (ARG – FC Barcelona), ThomasMüller (GER – FC Bayern München), Franck Ribéry (FRA – FC Bayern München), Arjen Robben (NED – FC Bayern München), Bastian Schweinsteiger (GER – FC Bayern München) and Robin van Persie (NED – Manchester United FC).
Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona won the inaugural award in 2011.