Betting Special: Could Schweinsteiger pip Messi and Ronaldo to the Best Player in Europe Award?

Bayern Munich were undoubtedly the best team in Europe this season, and Al Hain-Cole thinks their talismanic midfielder could be rewarded for his part in winning the treble
On Tuesday Uefa revealed the shortlist of 10 players left in the running for this year’s Best Player in Europe Award, the rather less exotically named successor to the old Ballon d’Or.

Journalists from throughout Europe nominated their top three players on the continent for the 2012-13 season, with the resulting 10-man list set to be whittled down to three names in early August before a winner is picked during the ceremony for the Champions League draw.

Uefa Best Player in Europe Award 2013

Odds from Paddy Power
Lionel Messi 7/5
Cristiano Ronaldo 9/2
Gareth Bale 11/2
Arjen Robben 6/1
Bastian Schweinsteiger 12/1
Inevitably, it is Lionel Messi who currently leads the betting to scoop the award for the second time in three years since its inception, with Paddy Power offering odds of 7/5 (2.40) on the mercurial Argentine capping a 60 goal season with a personal accolade to add to his La Liga winners medal.

Cristiano Ronaldo will be all too accustomed to settling for second place to his Barcelona rival, and this year’s Champions League top scorer is next in line once again at 9/2 (5.50) to win this award for the first time.

Gareth Bale’s performances last season drew admiring glances from throughout Europe, but his price of 11/2 (6.50) seems uninviting considering he finished the season empty-handed and with no Champions League football to look forward to for the second year in a row.

Such awards usually favour players who have just enjoyed fruitful seasons in club and international football, and with no World Cup or European Championship this summer, the all-conquering Bayern Munich squad must be prime candidates.

Having scored the goal that clinched the Champions League final, Arjen Robben may fancy his chances at 6/1 (7.00), but his bit-part role in the treble-winning season as a whole may count against him.

Instead, vice-captain Bastian Schweinsteiger could be a strong dark horse at 12/1 (13.00), having enjoyed one of his best individual seasons for Jupp Heynckes’ men and never having won such an award before.

Thomas Muller 14/1 (15.00) Franck Ribery 20/1 (21.00) also played integral roles in Die Roten’s success, while Borussia Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski’s four goals in one match against Real Madrid probably go a long way to explaining his relatively short 12/1 (13.00) odds.

Despite winning the league in debut seasons for their new clubs, a lack of European success makes both Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Robin Van Persie outsiders at 25/1 (26.00) to take home the trophy.

Bastian Schweinsteiger to win the Uefa Best Player in Europe Award 2013 at 12/1 (13.00) with Paddy Power

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Al Hain-Cole is a Liverpool fan, experienced tipster and avid follower of European football. He specialises in accumulators and if you would like to read more from Al you can follow him on Twitter here.

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