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Bundesliga stars dominate UEFA's best player shortlist

UEFA has drawn up its shortlist of Europe's best players, with half of the nominees coming from German club sides. Four of them hail from Bayern Munich, the other plying his trade for Borussia Dortmund.

Five players from Bundesliga sides made it onto the 10-man list, which will be further whittled down at the beginning of August before a final winner is chosen at the end of the month.

Two German national side players made it into the list: Bastian Schweinsteiger and his more attacking midfield colleague, Thomas Müller.

The Bavarian club's French left-sided winger, Franck Ribery, and his Dutch teammate on the other flank, Arjen Robben, also advanced onto the UEFA nomination sheet.

Poland striker Robert Lewandowski, whose Borussia Dortmund side lost to Bayern in the Champions League final at London's Wembley Stadium, was named, ensuring that Bundesliga players make up half of the nominees.

Still among the favorites to pick up the prize on August 29, at a live vote in Monaco, is Barcelona's World Player of the Year, Lionel Messi. He and Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo are the two representatives of Spain's La Liga, which has provided the two previous winners of the award.

The only British player to be nominated was Tottenham Hotspur's attacking Welshman Gareth Bale. The English Premier League was also represented by Manchester United striker Robin van Persie.

Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, from Paris Saint-Germain, is also on the shortlist.

Now in its third year, the UEFA Best Player in Europe Award is voted for by a jury of football journalists from countries whose leagues are part of UEFA.

Each journalist has provided a list of their five best-ranked players - the players are ordered from one to five, with the first receiving five points, the second four points and so on.

Messi won the accolade in 2011, while it went to his Barcelona teammate Andres Iniesta last year.

rc/jm (AFP, AP, Reuters)