The nominees for the Best Player in Europe award were recently released by UEFA, and prominent on the list were five players plying their trade in the German Bundesliga.

Unsurprisingly, last season's treble winners Bayern Munich have the highest representation on the list with four players, with Borussia Dortmund's Robert Lewandowski being the only other Bundesliga star on the list.

One of the nominees for the award, Bayern's French winger Franck Ribery, recently claimed he did enough last season to be finally awarded the Ballon d'Or - and going by the former Marseille man's performance in recent seasons, one may say he is right to believe he has been overlooked when it comes to awards for the recognition of the brilliance of Europe's finest footballers.

The legendary Zinedine Zidane may have been the tormentor-in-chief for the French national team at the 2006 World Cup, yet Ribery’s contribution towards France’s journey to the final cannot be overemphasised.

And since the retirement of Zizou, Ribery has never looked back.

Having arrived at the Allianz Arena in 2008, Ribery has become an increasingly important player for Bayern Munich, inspiring them to three Bundesliga titles and three German Cup triumphs. But despite these successes, it is perhaps shocking that he has only been able to make the UEFA Team of the Year once (in 2008).

The 30-year-old has never come close to winning the Ballon d'Or, despite having appeared in the Champions League final three times with Bayern.

One may attribute that to the fact that he ended up on the losing side in two of those finals but, finally, with his third chance on 25th May, he and his Bayern team-mates banished the memory of those heartbreaking defeats as they won the club's fifth Champions League title with a 2-1 victory over Dortmund at Wembley.

Although he cannot be mentioned in the same breath as either Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo (the two players who have dominated the award in recent seasons), there is no doubt that neither of them has outshines him this year with his brilliant displays ensuring Jupp Heynckes bade farewell to coaching with a historic treble.

His fellow professionals have already acknowledged his hard work by voting him the best player in the Bundesliga last June - and it'll be no surprise should others around the world follow suit.

Ribery sure deserves a podium finish at the Ballon d’Or gala later this year.


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