Gareth Bale isn't one of the three finalists for the UEFA Best Player in Europe Award, which apparently exists because reasons. The Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year were combined into one award, so this award needs to exist in the unlikely event that a player from outside Europe ever wins the Ballon d'Or. Or maybe Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi can split these two awards so neither one of them has to feel like their existence is futile.
Bale finished eighth in the voting behind Messi, Ronaldo and Bastian Schweinsteiger, who I'd consider to be better than him. He also finished behind Franck Ribery and Robert Lewandowski, which is understandable even though I don't feel like either was the best player on their own team. And then there's Thomas Müller and Arjen Robben, who are the third and fourth best attacking midfielders or wide players on their own team. Robben finished fourth, inexplicably ahead of Schweinsteiger. Also, Mario Götze's late-season injury apparently kept him out of the top 10 because this process is stupid.