By JUSTIN FERGUSON
There will be a new name on the Best Player in Europe trophy.
On Tuesday, UEFA named the three finalists for the 2012-13 Best Player in Europe, the third edition of the award. As expected, La Liga stars Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are back in the running for the award, but they will be joined at this year’s presentation by Bayern Munich winger Franck Ribery.
Messi and Ronaldo were finalists for last year’s award, which was won by Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta. But after Bayern Munich’s dominant treble in the 2012-13 season, Ribery has made the cut for the live final vote, which will be held at the Champions League group stage draw in Monaco on Aug. 29.
Shortlisted players that did not make the top three include Borussia Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski, Tottenham Hotspur winger Gareth Bale and Manchester United striker Robin van Persie. Three of Ribery’s teammates–Thomas Muller, Arjen Robben and Bastian Schweinsteiger–were included in the Top 10.
Here are some more stories to get you through your Tuesday:
SUAREZ TO MISS LIVERPOOL FRIENDLY WITH INJURY
Gareth Bale, Wayne Rooney and Luis Suarez—what do these three English Premier League stars have in common?
In the midst of their ongoing transfer sagas, all three have suddenly come down with injuries as their current clubs’ final preseason matches.
Suarez was left out of Brendan Rodgers’s squad for Wednesday’s friendly against Valerenga, the Reds’ final preseason match before their EPL opener. According to the team website, Suarez will “remain on Merseyside as a precaution following an injury in training (Monday)” and will “undergo a scan on his foot later (Tuesday).”
The Uruguayan striker, who has been heavily linked with a move to EPL rivals Arsenal, is reportedly considering legal action against Liverpool. Suarez has been the subject of two bids from Arsenal, and the latest one met an apparent clause in his contract.
TWO LIGA MX PLAYERS TEST POSITIVE FOR STEROIDS
Two Liga MX players are about to face sanctions from the Mexican soccer federation after testing positive for steroids during the league’s opening weekend.
Federation president Decio de Maria told ESPN that the names of the two players who tested positive for the steroid Clenbuterol will not be released until their investigation was complete. He also said disciplinary committee president Eugenio Rivas will be in charge of the punishments for the two players.
In 2011, Mexican players Antonio Naelson, Sinha, Francisco Rodriguez, Christian Bermudez, Guillermo Ochoa and Edgar Duenas all tested positive for Clenbuterol and were suspended from the country’s Gold Cup team. During that time, de Maria blamed the test results on tainted meat, the same defense Tour de France champion Alberto Contador used when he tested positive for the steroid.
On Tuesday, FIFA provisionally suspended an unnamed Jamaican player and a team official after a failed drug test in June, following the country’s World Cup qualifier in Honduras.
After injury and suspension, Real Madrid defender Pepe has returned to the Portuguese national team ahead of next week’s friendly against the Netherlands. (REPORT)
Tottenham winger and Real Madrid target Gareth Bale reportedly received death threats on Sunday. (REPORT)
Liverpool are reportedly set to sell midfielder Stuart Downing to Newcastle United for a of £5 million ($7.7 million) fee. (REPORT)
Swansea winger Nathan Dyer has signed a new four-year contract with the club. (REPORT)
The Turkish Football Federation has canceled a friendly with Uzbekistan scheduled for next week due to “extreme heat.” (REPORT)
What do you think of these reports? Who do you think will win the Best Player in Europe award? Surprised to see Ribery named as a finalist for the award? Think Suarez’s injury is suspicious given his transfer drama?
Share your thoughts below.